Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Throughout most of its range, favors mature conifer forests with a few deciduous trees, preferring the upper canopy of tall conifers. Also inhabits climax stands of conifers with sparse understory and with deciduous trees and shrubs around the edges. In the Appalachians, inhabits oak-hickory forests along ridges.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Tall coniferous forests; oaks in the Appalachians.
NEST: Builds a deeply cupped nest saddled to a horizontal branch of a large tree. Nests in conifers throughout its range but also uses deciduous trees in the South. Usually locates nest high (up to 80 feet) above the ground and well out from the tree trunk.
FOOD: Consumes mostly insects gleaned from branches and leaves, but also flying insects caught in the air. Eats some berries when insects are scarce.
REFERENCES: Bull and Farrand 1977, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Lawrence 1953b, Terres 1982.