Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Common in the Plains, but rare and local in the East; overall population appears to be declining.
HABITAT: Generally inhabits grasslands having tall grasses, forbs, or shrubs but also fields planted to such crops as alfalfa, clover, and timothy. Also frequents abandoned or fallow croplands.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dense herbaceous cover and song perches.
NEST: Builds a bulky, cup nest on the ground or attached to forks in shrubs, vines, or low trees. Locates nests in a variety of situations such as marshes, hayfields, abandoned or fallow croplands, roadsides, fencerows, and grasslands.
FOOD: Gleans most of its food from the ground; eats mainly vegetable materials - weed seeds and grain, and some insects.
REFERENCES: Harmeson 1974, Gross 1921, Overmire 1962, Taber 1947, Tate and Tate 1982, Zimmerman 1982.