Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Fairly common.
HABITAT: Favors sparsely vegetated dry uplands but also occurs in a variety of habitats throughout its range. In the West, inhabits open grasslands and sagebrush flats, pinyon-juniper associations, open meadows and farmlands, and low grassy areas of alpine and subalpine meadows. In the East, inhabits short-grass meadows, pastures, hayfields, country roadsides, prairie edges, blueberry barrens, coastal beachgrass, and, farther north, forest clearings and burned-over areas.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open areas with short herbaceous vegetation and conspicuous song perches.
NEST: Builds nest in a depression on the ground, frequently near small patches of bare ground, where the vegetation is low and sparse, or at the base of a dirt clod, clump of weeds, or tussock of grass, often well concealed by surrounding live or dead vegetation.
FOOD: Gleans insects and seeds from the ground and from weeds and grasses; also forages on waste grains.
REFERENCES: Berger in Bent 1968b, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, King in Bent 1968b, Vickery in Farrand 1983c.