Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Scarce and local throughout the eastern portion of the breeding range, locally common in the West.
HABITAT: Generally associated with dense, brushy habitats such as thickets of mesquite, oaks, and cacti; chaparral; mixtures of pine, junipers, and oaks; dense growths of alder, cottonwood, and willow. In the Southwest, occurs in mountain canyons up to 6,000 feet in elevation.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: A brushy understory and cavities for nesting.
NEST: Nests near the ground in secluded natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, rock crevices, deserted buildings, birdhouses, or in almost any cavity where a nest could be built. (Nest and nesting sites are like those of the house wren, and the two species usually compete when in the same area.)
FOOD: Gleans small insects and spiders (about 97 percent of diet) from, low trunks and branches of trees and brush, usually under dense cover.
REFERENCES: Beal 1907, Bent 1948, Johnsgard 1979, Miller 1941, Tate and Tate 1982, Verner and Boss 1980.