Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Endangered. Approximately 1,000 birds in existence.
HABITAT: Breeds in very specific habitats: extensive stands (80 + acres) of young jack pine that are 6 to 20 feet tall and have living pine branches near the ground. Usually moves into burned-over jack pine forests 6 to 13 years after fire and inhabits these young forests for 10 to 12 years.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dense stands of young jack pine.
NEST: Tends to nest in loose colonies. Conceals nest under low vegetation (particularly bluestem grass and blueberry) near the base of a small jack pine on flat, dry, porous soil, usually depressed below ground level; about half of nests are parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds.
FOOD: Gleans food (mostly insects) from the ground and pine needles.
REFERENCES: Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Mackenzie 1977, Mayfield 1960.