Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Found in southwestern deserts, generally wherever there are large mesquites, especially along main watercourses. Also occurs in mountain foothills in streamside cottonwoods and willows.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Cavities for nesting.
NEST: The only cavity-nesting warbler besides the prothonotary, places nest in four types of cavities; natural cavities in trees (usually mesquite), where the entrance is in a sheltered spot; under loose bark; in abandoned woodpecker holes; and in deserted verdin nests. Generally locates nest 5 to 6 feet above the ground, but ranges from 1 to 15 feet. Occasionally nests in holes in banks, in yuccas, willows, sycamores, or elderberries.
FOOD: Forages for insects at middle heights in mesquite, seldom in the treetops or near the ground.
REFERENCES: Bent 1953a, Griscom and Sprunt 1979.