Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Frequents open areas with scattered trees or tall shrubs; forest edges or hedgerows along pastures, swamps, marshes, fields, or highways; open country around orchards; brushy streamsides; and sometimes open woodlands.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open habitats with perches for flycatching.
NEST: Often builds nest over water on a tree limb well away from the main trunk, or occasionally in shrubs or on an artificial structure, locating nest 10 to 20 feet, but sometimes 2 to 60 feet, above the ground. Builds nest in the crotch of a tree, on top of a dead stub, or on a fence post if no trees are available. In New England, frequently nests in the upper horizontal limbs of apple trees.
FOOD: Consumes over 200 kinds of insects and more than 40 kinds of fruits, catching most insects by hawking from a perch.
REFERENCES: Beal 1912, Bent 1942, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, Terres 1980.