Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Generally associated with pine forests; prefers open, park-like forests, especially among ponderosa pines in the lower coniferous forest zone. Occurs less frequently in pinyon-juniper and pines of the Pacific Coast.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Pine forests with dead trees for cavity nest sites.
NEST: Usually excavates nest cavity near the top of a dead pine where the wood is well rotted, or in the underside of a dead branch about 5 to 60 feet above the ground, often at least 25 feet up. Occasionally nests in aspen snags.
FOOD: Searches for food in the tops of pine trees, consuming many insects and conifer seeds. Consumes a diet of about 80 percent insects and spiders.
REFERENCES: Bent 1948, Grinnell and Miller 1944, Johnsgard 1979, Norris 1958, Phillips et al. 1964, Scott et al. 1977.