Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Typically associated with desert regions, but also found in chaparral, grasslands, open woodlands of pine and oak, agricultural areas, and moist woodlands. Frequents edge habitats provided by a mixture of open land, brush, and forest; also at home among tall pines and magnolias or mesquite and cactus.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Bare areas with some scattered trees and bushes.
NEST: Usually nests in a low tree, bush, thicket, or clump of cactus from 3 to 15 feet above ground, rarely on the ground. In desert regions, builds nest so that bands of shade cross the nest during the extreme heat of the day; prefers staghorn cholla for nesting site in arid regions.
FOOD: Feeds primarily on animals, with about 10 percent of the diet consisting of vegetable matter. Eats a great variety of insects, spiders, scorpions, snails, lizards, and small snakes; also eats some young birds and small mammals, and fruits and seeds.
REFERENCES: Bryant 1916, Johnsgard 1979, Oberholser 1974a, Ohmart 1973, Terrill in Farrand 1983b.