Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren | Photo: Cephas/Wikimedia

More often than not, marsh wrens are heard before they are seen—if they’re seen at all. Unlike their close counterpart the sedge wren, marsh wrens prefer to build their nests and live within the cattails and bulrush—common marsh grasses. Commonly confused with sedge wrens, marsh wrens have larger bodies, longer bills, a prominent white eyebrow… Read more

Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren | Photo: Wikimedia

Formerly called the short-billed marsh wren, the sedge wren nests in thick, tangled areas of sedges and grasses in overgrown fields, near ponds and lakes, and in marshes—but not cattails. Characteristics that distinguish sedge wrens from other wren species include its habitat preferences; its size; its short, thin bill; and its distinctive song. Look for… Read more

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren | Photo: W. Willoughby/Wikimedia

Look For Our largest wren, the cactus wren is sometimes mistaken for a thrasher. The bold white eyebrow stands out below the dark brown cap. Dark spots below (especially on breast), white streaks above, buffy flanks. Long tail is edged in black and white dashes. Listen For Song is a series of harsh, unmusical notes… Read more

Canyon Wren

Canyon Wren | Photo: N. Reynolds/Wikimedia

Look For Rusty brown body and grayish head contrast sharply with white throat and breast. Bill is very long, slender, and slightly down-curved. Small white dots on head, back, and wings are visible at close range. The canyon wren is usually heard before it is seen. Listen For The canyon wren is a strong singer… Read more

Bewick’s Wren

Bewick's Wren | Photo: R. Knight/Wikimedia

Look For A medium-sized wren, plain brown above, pale gray below with a bold white eyebrow line. The long gray-brown tail is rounded at the tip with white corners. While perched, the Bewick’s wren often fans and switches its tail. The white corners on the tail are diagnostic. The similar Carolina wren is warmer brown… Read more

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look for The Carolina wren is a rotund, warm-brown bird that often carries its tail cocked. Leading with its longish, curved bill, it resembles a little brown teapot. The bright white line over its eye and its warm buffy underparts (paler in summer) help clinch the identification. Males and females are alike. Listen for Often… Read more

Winter Wren

Winter Wren (Photo: Paul Stein/Creative Commons)

On a per-pound basis, the winter wren generates more song for its weight than any other North American songbird. This stubby-tailed, chocolate-brown mouse of a bird frequents wooded streamside habitats and coniferous forests, both in winter and summer. The long burbling song can be given from an exposed treetop perch in spring, or from inside… Read more

House Wren

House Wren (Photo: Creative Commons)

Look for House wrens are notable for their lack of field marks—the warm-brown upperparts and tail are matched by a grayish breast. Look closely at the house wren, and you’ll see a variety of small white and black spots, the only variation in the bird’s plumage. Males and females look alike and both have the… Read more

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