Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Frequents meadows and canyons; riparian aspen, willow, and alder thickets; and other brushy areas within the coniferous forests of western mountains. Occupies a broad vertical range during the breeding season, from 600 feet in the northern portions of its range to 11,500 feet in the Sierra Nevada. Prefers timbered stands near water with a low to intermediate canopy cover.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Flowers, preferably red, for nectar.
NEST: Typically locates nest below a larger branch or canopy of foliage, usually on a branch that has small knots of dead, black or gray mistletoe or pine cones which nest strongly resembles. Locates nest 2 to 70 feet above ground, frequently in a riparian area. May use the same site in subsequent years.
FOOD: Obtains nectar from a variety of flowers, preferring red ones. Hawks for small flying insects, and eats spiders.
REFERENCES: Bent 1940b, Calder 1971, Garrett in Farrand 1983b, Johnsgard 1983b, Terres 1980, Verner and Boss 1980.