Behavior And Reproduction
Palmchats are very social birds and congregate in small flocks that have a communal nest where they meet and rest. These little bands usually consist of several pairs. The birds show great affection for each other, preferring to snuggle close together on branches even in their tropical climate. Palmchats' reputation for alertness and energy may come partly from their continuously erect posture, with tails pointed straight down. The flocks are noisy, especially near their group nest, where they rest at night and during daytime breaks in activity. When not looking for food, palmchats sit on palm fronds or the upward-pointing ends of pruned fronds. They emerge from their nests in the early morning to preen and dry in the sun.
These birds breed mostly between March and June, but occasionally some pairs will breed at other times. Several pairs of palmchats build a nest together, each with its own chamber and entrance. The large, messy nest is built around the crown of a palm, supported by its lower fronds. In areas lacking palms, the birds will build their nests on top of telephone poles, in the dense foliage of a broad-leafed tree, or in pine trees. Their main building material is twigs, which they intertwine loosely to create the 3- to 6.5-foot-diameter (1- to 2-meter) structure. Some of the twigs can be as long as 10 to 18 inches (25 to 45 centimeters) long. The females lay two to four grayish purple eggs that are thickly spotted at the wide end.