|Conservation status||Widespread (including much of tropics) and fairly common, numbers probably stable.|
|Habitat||Open brushy country, open woods, wooded streams, gardens. Generally in semi-open areas, where there are thickets and trees close to open weedy fields, from low valleys to high in mountains. In dry country, usually found close to water. In the tropics, found in semi-open terrain, woodland edges.|
Forages actively and acrobatically in trees, shrubs, and weeds. Except when nesting, usually forages in flocks.
4-5, sometimes 3-6. Pale blue to pale blue-green, usually unmarked. Incubation is by female only, about 12 days. Male may feed female during incubation. Young: Both parents feed the nestlings. Age at which young leave nest is not well known. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.
Both parents feed the nestlings. Age at which young leave nest is not well known. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.
Mostly seeds, some insects. Majority of diet at all seasons consists of seeds. Especially favors those of the daisy (composite) family, such as thistle and wild sunflower, also seeds of various weeds. Also feeds on flowers and buds of trees (such as cottonwoods) and on some berries. Eats some insects, especially in summer, mainly small ones such as aphids. Will feed on salt.
In warmer parts of Southwest, breeding season may extend over much of year from early spring to mid-autumn. In courtship, male feeds female; performs display flight with wings and tail spread widely, fluttering rapidly while singing. Nest: Usually placed in vertical fork of twigs in shrub or tree, 5-30' above the ground, sometimes higher in tree or very low in bushes or dense weeds. Nest (built mostly or entirely by female) is a compact open cup woven of grass, plant fibers, strips of bark, lined with plant down.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Permanent resident in much of range, summer resident only in some inland parts of the West north of the desert regions. Very rare stray east of normal range.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsSong a rapid medley of twittering notes. Calls include a plaintive tee-yee? or cheeo?
Learn more about this sound collection.