Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Abundant; rare in the Southwest.
HABITAT: Inhabits open deciduous and mixed forests with dense understory of saplings, in wooded clearings, or borders of burns. Found in both upland and river-bottom forests, and sometimes in residential areas where abundant shade trees provide a continuous canopy. Seldom found where conifers make up 75 percent or more of the basal area.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Deciduous trees with dense understory.
NEST: Builds nest in deciduous or coniferous trees or shrubs. Suspends deep cup nest from a horizontal fork of a slender branch, usually in dense foliage 5 to 10 feet above the ground, but sometimes as high as 60 feet.
FOOD: Consumes insects, gleaned from leaf surfaces in mid to upper tree canopies, for about 85 percent of the diet. Also eats spiders, a few snails, wild fruits, and berries.
REFERENCES: Chapin 1925, Forbush and May 1955, James 1976, Johnsgard 1979, Laurence 1953a.