Males arrive in breeding areas in April and May, usually several days before the female, and establish a territory by singing almost continuously from conspicuous perches high in the canopy of mature trees. Territorial boundaries are not rigid and males frequently dispute, especially when the female is present (Isler and Isler 1987, Prescott 1965). Once paired, the male abandons the high perch. The female chooses the nest site and builds the nest alone (Isler and Isler 1987). The nest is built in 2-7 days.
In the mid-Atlantic states, nesting extends from early May to early August, with a peak from late May to mid-July (Bushman and Therres 1988). Eggs are laid mostly in May-June. Clutch size is 3-5 (usually 4). Incubation, by female, lasts 12-14 days. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at 9-15 days, usually 14-15 days after hatching. The nestlings are brooded by the female for about 3 days after they hatch. During this time both parents feed the young. Fledged young are attended by adult for up to 2 weeks after fledging. Nests sometimes contain young into August. It is thought that only one brood is raised per season (Senesac 1993, Isler and Isler 1987, Prescott 1965).
During the breeding season, females sing a song that is similar to that of the males, and both males and females also produce the "chic-burr" call.