The female Chat builds a cup shaped nest in a dense tangle from ground
level up to 8 feet above the ground. Nest materials include coarse grasses,
weed stems and dead leaves. From 3 to 5 creamy white eggs with reddish brown
blotches or speckles, incubated by the female, hatch in 11 to 12 days. Both
parents tend the young, who leave the nest in 8 to 11 days. Chats apparently
guard their nests well, as parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds is not as
frequent as with other cup nest builders.
Banding studies show that Chats can live more than 8 years in the
wild. If you should recover a banded bird, please report the band number to
the Bird Banding Lab by calling 1-800-327-BAND.
The Chat diet consists primarily of insects, including
grasshoppers, bugs, beetles, weevils, bees, wasps, tent caterpillars, ants,
moths and mayflies. Blackberries, wild grapes, and other berry fruits are
also important food items. Chats perform an important service to man by
consuming many pest insects.
Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. Nests, Eggs,
and Nestlings of North American Birds, 2nd ed., Academic Press, NY.
Curson, J., D. Quinn and D. Beadle. 1994. Warblers of the
Americas. Houghton Mifflin Co., NY.
Harrison, H. H., 1975. A Field Guide to Birds’ Nests of the
United States East of the Mississippi River. Peterson Field Guide Series.
Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston.
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds.
Part 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, CA. 732 Pp.
Terres, J. K., 1995, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of
North American Birds. Wings Books, NY.
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