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12 cm. Gray, yellow rump, yellow wing bars, black tail with white band, pink-gray bill, black cap. Females browner, less yellow, no black.
Juveniles resemble females but are even duller and have faint streaks on the upperparts and especially the underparts.
Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Breeds in interior California and northern Baja California, dispersing in winter to Sonora and southern Arizona. Some non-breeding individuals spend the summer in the winter range. Vagrants have been recorded in Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.
This species is remarkably homogeneous, with no subspecies, and according to one study, no genetic variation at the 23 loci tested (Davis 2001, citing Marten and Johnson 1986).
Dry and open woods.
Diet includes seeds and mistletoe berries.
It builds a loosely woven cup shaped nest in a fork of several small branches. 3-6, white with a blue or green tinge eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 12-13 days.
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