Sexes are similar. The female builds a nest of dry grasses and other plant material
usually near the ground in a fork in a small shrub. The female incubates 3 to 5 eggs that
hatch in about 2 weeks. Both parents care for the young that leave the nest in about a
week and a half.
According to data at the Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, MD, a total of 80,650 birds
have been banded and released. Of these, only 13 have been recovered. This is a recovery
rate of 0.016%
Little data is available on populations trends for this species. Here at Chipper Woods,
these birds are regularly caught and banded during the migratory period. Each
September/October brings a number of hatching year birds, suggesting successful breeding.
Their diet of beetles, weevils, ants caterpillars, cicadas and other helps to control
destructive insect pests. Their habit of eating berries contributes to propagation of
plants as undigested seeds are transported to other locations.
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