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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Golden-cheeked Warbler -- Dendroica chrysoparia

RANGE: Breeds from central Texas south to the Edward's Plateau region into Medina and Bexar Counties and west to Real and Kerr Counties. Winters in the highlands of Central America. Occasionally visits the Farallon Islands of California and isolated areas of Florida.

STATUS: Uncommon and very local.

HABIAT: Prefers small stands of mountain-cedar on rough woody hillsides in canyons or on ridges that separate headwaters of streams, and also inhabits mountain oak, black oak, and live oak thickets on higher grounds as well as oak thickets on the lower flats along the foothills. Populations have been eliminated by removal of "cedar brakes." Mature cedar brakes ranging from several hundred acres to a thousand or more are necessary to insure habitat for this specie.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Mountain-cedar in canyons or draws within 1-1/2 miles of water.

NEST: Builds nests of cedar bark interspersed with webs, often from spiders. Fastens nests to limbs in the mid-canopy level of mountain-cedars and are difficult to locate because they resemble the bark of the tree. Often parasitized by cowbirds.

FOOD: Eats a variety of insects and spiders.

REFERENCES: Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Oberholser 1974b, Pulich 1976.

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