Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Locally common to uncommon; largely restricted to parks and refuges because of clearing of habitat for residential and agricultural purposes.
HABITAT: Prefers wooded stream beds with thick growths of ebony blackbead, hackberry, mesquite, and thick, shrubbery undergrowth. Rarely found far from water; also inhabits thick growths of sugarberry, Texas lignumvitae, huisache, cedar elm, and willow. Has adapted well to living in relatively small (1 to 5 acres) tracts of dense woodland vegetation.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dense brushland.
NEST: Constructs a small, flimsy nest or uses old nests of birds such as the yellow-billed cuckoo, groove-billed ani, or curve-billed thrasher. Nests in trees, or in vines supported by trees, from 3 to 33 feet above ground. Most commonly uses cedar elm, huisache, sugarberry, anacua, and ebony blackbead. Spanish moss and tangled vines commonly support and conceal the nest.
FOOD: Eats berries, especially hackberries, along with the fruit of mesquite, mangoes, junipers, palmettos, persimmons, wild grapes, and figs; also eats green leaves, buds and shoots of plants, grain (especially cracked corn), and some insects.
REFERENCES: Johnsgard 1975a, Marion 1974, Marion and Fleetwood 1978, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.