|Conservation status||Populations appear to be stable.|
|Habitat||Wooded canyons and foothills, river woods. In much of range almost always around oaks, especially where oaks meet other trees along rivers, also in pine-oak woods in foothills. In southern California also in riverside cottonwoods, sycamores, willows, even if no oaks present. At eastern edge of range may venture out into mesquite or other dry woods.|
Forages mainly in dense trees such as oaks and ceanothus, also in cottonwood, willow, sycamore, and others; sometimes in yuccas, mesquites (at eastern margin of range). The sexes sometimes forage differently in trees, with males focussing on trunk and major limbs, females working on minor branches and twigs. Occasionally catches insects in flight.
3-4, up to 6. White. Incubation is by both sexes (with male incubating at night and part of day), about 14 days. Young: Both parents feed young. Young leave nest about 4 weeks after hatching, may remain with parents for several weeks thereafter.
Both parents feed young. Young leave nest about 4 weeks after hatching, may remain with parents for several weeks thereafter.
Mostly insects. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, especially beetles, also caterpillars, ants, true bugs. Also eats some nuts, seeds, fruits, berries. Despite close association with oaks, eats only small numbers of acorns.
Members of pair may remain more or less together all year. Displays include raising head feathers, swinging head from side to side, and a fluttering display flight. Nest site is cavity in live or dead tree, usually cottonwood, willow, or sycamore near oak woods, sometimes in utility pole, fence post, or oak or other tree. Cavity usually 3-35' above ground, sometimes up to 60' or higher. Male does most of excavating; new nest cavity every year.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Permanent resident throughout its range, rarely wandering any distance from nesting areas.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsA rolling call, prreep; a sharp pit-it.
Learn more about this sound collection.