Length 7". Breeding male black with white patches on the inner wings and under tips of the tail. Female is streaked grayish-brown witha buffy wing patch. Winter males look like females with whiter wing patches.
Similar species- Female resembles a Cassin's Finch, but wrong habitat.
Call is a soft "hooo-ee", and song is a series of high whistles and trills given from a perch or while hovering in a song flight
Great Plains from southern Canada to New Mexico and the Texas panhandle. It has recently invaded eastern Idaho from over the Continental Divide and now nests as far west as Minidoka NWR, with colonies on the Arco desert and near Dubois, as well as lower Curlew Valley.
Found in sagebrush communities and the edges of agricultural fields.
Insects and other invertebrates in the summer, seeds in the fall and winter.
Gregarious for most of the year, except when breeding, then colonial but territorial. Nest is a cup shaped structure on the ground.
Monogamous, but later females are polygynous. Lays 4-5 eggs, which are incubated by female (male?) for 11-12 days. Young altricial and fed by both male and female for 8-9 days when they fledge.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
No references are available at this time.