Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Common to uncommon.
HABITAT: Tolerant of a wide range of ecological conditions, inhabiting brushy pastures, orchards, light second growth, lawns and clearings near homes, marshes, and moist thickets along rivers. Also found in semi-desert areas with scattered cacti and acacias and thickets of ebony blackbead, mesquite, and Jerusalem-thorn. Frequently accompanies livestock, which stir insects from the grass.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open areas with low vegetation for foraging, and trees and bushes for roosting and nesting.
NEST: Builds nest from 2 to 25 feet up in densely foliated trees or, in arid regions, in opuntias and other cacti. May nest singly or communally, with several females laying their eggs in a single nest.
FOOD: Forages in pastures and farm fields, feeding on insects stirred up by cattle. Eats mainly insects, including grasshoppers, termites, and roaches, plus spiders, small lizards, and berries.
REFERENCES: Kaufman in Farrand 1983b, Oberholser 1974a, Skutch 1959, Terres 1980.