Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Local and uncommon.
HABITAT: Inhabits mesquite or thorny shrubs, brushy pastures, dense vegetation with few cottonwoods, foothill canyons, and generally hilly and rocky terrain; tends to avoid heavily wooded areas.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Thorny shrubs.
NEST: Builds a compact cup nest 2 to 10 feet above the ground in the crotch of a shrub, low tree, or vine tangle.
FOOD: Presumably eats insects and seeds similar to the diet of the indigo and lazuli buntings. (No definitive studies have been made.)
REFERENCES: Bent 1968a, Harrison 1979, Oberholser 1974b, Terres 1980.