Birds of brushy areas and the desert

Birds of brushy areas

Some birds make their home in and around brushy areas, which are covered by bushes and low scrubby trees. Such areas commonly occur on the edges of forests and woodlands, between woodlands and grasslands, and in abandoned fields that are developing into woodlands. Brushy areas exist throughout the United States and southern Canada. Many of the birds that live in these habitats are also wide ranging. They include the eastern towhee, gray catbird, loggerhead shrike, rufous-sided towhee, and yellow-breasted chat. Other birds of brushy habitats have a more limited range. The bobwhite and Carolina wren are permanent residents in the southeastern United States and in Mexico. The painted bunting nests chiefly in the southeastern half of the United States but migrates to Mexico in winter.

Birds of the desert

Many birds that live in the deserts of the southwestern United States nest in saguaros and other large cactuses. The cactus wren builds its nest among cactus spines. Gila woodpeckers and gilded flickers nest in holes that they make in cactus stems. Elf owls, the smallest owls in the world, nest in holes that the woodpeckers abandon. A large percentage of desert birds chiefly eat animal flesh or insects. The deserts are dry, and such a diet provides more moisture than a diet of seeds. Meat-eating birds, including the golden eagle, roadrunner, and various species of owls, rank among the most common desert birds. Most of the cactus dwellers mainly eat insects. Gambel's quail and several species of sparrows are among the few ground-nesting, seed- eating birds of the North American deserts.

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