Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
HABITAT: Frequents valleys, brushy hillsides, roadside vegetation, and cultivated fields. In arctic regions, inhabits open stunted tree growth and brushlands. Uses edge habitats and brush piles during winter.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Thickets, hedgerows, or edge.
NEST: Often builds nest consisting of grassy materials, mosses, and lichens, lined with rootlets or animal hairs, placing it on the ground in a moss or lichen bed, in grassy areas, but sometimes on the lower branches of shrubbery. Most nests are well concealed and difficult to locate.
FOOD: Obtains both plant and animal foods by scratching in the soil. Eats the fruiting bodies of mosses, as well as a variety of seeds, and capitalizes on outbreaks of insects.
REFERENCES: Beal and McAtee 1912, Forbush and May 1955.