Habitats range from deciduous bottomlands to high elevation coniferous forests. Nests in natural and woodpecker cavities, often on steep hillsides, precipitous talus slopes, or steep ravines not far from water (Campbell et al. 1990). Considered tolerant of mixed-age forest types. A study in Alberta found preference for stands >81 years old. Also, preference for forest edges and variable terrain due to increased hunting visibility.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, and M. C. E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 and 2, Nonpasserines. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.