Bewick's WrenThryomanes bewickii

adult
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
adult
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult
Greg Lasley/VIREO
Bewick's Wren

Family

Description

5 1/2" (14 cm). Gray-brown above, white below, with white eyebrow and long fan-shaped tail tipped with white.

Voice

Loud, melodious song with the usual bubbly wren-like warble, also reminiscent of a Song Sparrow.

Listen

various calls
harsh alarm calls
song and call #2
song
song & call #1
song
song

Habitat

Thickets, brush piles, and hedgerows in farming country; also open woodlands and scrubby areas, often near streams.

Range

Resident locally from southern British Columbia, Nebraska, southern Ontario, and southwestern Pennsylvania south to Mexico, Arkansas, and northern Gulf States. Eastern birds winter south to Gulf Coast.

Discussion

Bewick's Wren uses its long, narrow, slightly down-curved bill for scavenging on the ground and picking in crevices for insects and spiders. Searching for food, it may venture into hollow trunks, rock crevices, or barns. Bewick's Wren was named by Audubon for Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), the English naturalist and engraver. Although this species resembles the somewhat larger Carolina Wren, it has an entirely different song and, at close range, shows white in the outer tail feathers. Eastern populations dropped drastically,possibly do to the expansion of House Wrens which remove eggs, starting early in the 20th century, and now it is nearly restricted to the West.

Nesting

5-7 brown-spotted white eggs in a stick nest lined with leaves, grass, and feathers, and placed in almost any available cavity, including woodpecker holes, tin cans, coat pockets or sleeves, baskets, tool sheds, and brush piles.

Similar Species

adult

Canyon Wren

5 1/2 -6" (14-15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Dark rusty above and below, with conspicuous white throat and upper breast.

adult, Western

Marsh Wren

4-5 1/2" (10-14 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. Brown above, pale buff below, with bold white eyebrow and white-streaked back.

adult

Rock Wren

5-6 1/2" (13-17 cm). A sparrow-sized wren, pale grayish brown with a finely streaked breast. Outer tail feathers have whitish or pale buff tips.

adult

Carolina Wren

5 1/2" (14 cm). Rich brown above, buff below, with conspicuous white eyebrow.

adult, Western

House Wren

4 1/2 -5 1/4" (11-13 cm). A tiny bird with a short tail, often held cocked over the back. Dusky brown above, paler below, with no distinctive markings.

adult

Winter Wren

4-4 1/2" (10-11cm). A tiny, dark brown bird with a very short tail, narrow pale eyebrow, and heavily banded flanks and belly. See Pacific Wren and House Wren.

adult

Cactus Wren

7-8 1/4" (18-21 cm). A starling-sized wren with spotted underparts, white eyebrows, rusty crown, and white spots on outer tail feathers.

Vireo

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