Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Fairly common to uncommon. Populations decreasing.
HABITAT: Generally inhabits the dense, low, ragged-topped thickets growing in hot, rocky hillsides, including stands of oaks, mescalbean, sumac, cedar, or other chaparral brush; prefers scrub oaks. May also be found in prairie ravines and early successional stages of brushlands. Prefers habitat arranged in rectangular or oval formation instead of linear.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Low, dense shrubs or trees.
NEST: Builds a deep, cuplike nest suspended from a fork of slender twigs in trees or shrubs, usually 2 to 6 feet above the ground. Prefers oaks in parts of its range, but uses other tree and shrub species.
FOOD: Gleans insects from leaves of shrubs (especially oaks). Also eats a few spiders and small fleshy fruits.
REFERENCES: Graber 1961, Kaufman in Farrand 1983c, Johnsgard 1979, Oberholser 1974b.