Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Locally abundant.
HABITAT: Generally inhabits chaparral, brushland, woodlands, and open habitats such as lawns and gardens - chaparral and suburban gardens in Oregon and California; cholla cactus and pinyon-juniper in Colorado; the lower mountain canyons in Arizona; and low scrub habitats in New Mexico and Texas.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Low shrubs.
NEST: Builds a bulky nest ranging from ground level up to 35 feet above the ground (usually 3 to 12 feet) in a variety of shrubs and low trees. Usually places nest in the densest part of the foliage, supported by several branches.
FOOD: Forages on the ground for seeds and insects. Feeds insects to nestlings during summer; eats predominately weed seeds in winter. Also eats grain and small fruits.
REFERENCES: Bent 1968b, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980.