Bird introduction-Cactus Wren
The largest wren in North America and the state bird of Arizona, the cactus wren is often mistaken for a thrasher because of its ground-foraging behavior and tendency to run rather than fly when threatened or startled.
Bird Introduction-Cactus Wren:
The Cactus Wren's plumage is brown, with black and white spots as markings. It has a distinctive white eyebrow that sweeps to the nape of the neck. The chest is white, whereas the underparts are cinnamon-buff colored. Both sexes appear similar. The tail, as well as flight feathers, are barred in black and white. Their song is a loud raspy chirrup.
Scientific Name: Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Lifespan: 7-10 years
Size: 8-9 inches
Weight: 1.3-1.5 ounces
Wingspan: 10-11 inches
Cactus Wren Distribution and Habitat:
These large wrens prefer arid habitats such as semi-desert, desert scrub, and full desert regions, particularly where yucca, mesquite, cholla, or saguaro cacti are abundant and much of the ground is covered with gravel.
They are found from southern California through the southern tip of Nevada and southwestern Utah, southwestern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southwestern Texas, continuing south into northern and central Mexico as well as Baja California.
Cactus Wren in the backyard:
Though these birds are widespread, they can be relatively uncommon. They are typically unafraid of humans, however, and will visit backyards where the habitat is appropriate, especially if ground feeders offer treats such as bread or apple slices. Cactus wrens will also visit suet and sunflower seed feeders.
Cactus Wren Breeding:
These are monogamous birds and are believed to mate for life. The male will build a dome-shaped nest of stems, grasses, and similar material lined with feathers and fur with a tunnel or tube-like entrance on the side. The nest is usually positioned at the narrow fork of a cactus where the plant's spines provide an extra deterrent to potential predators, though cactus wrens are aggressive when guarding their nesting sites and will mob intruders to drive them away.
The cactus wren’s oval-shaped eggs are a pinkish color with red or brownish specks that are often more heavily concentrated at the larger end of the egg. There are two to seven eggs laid per brood, and one pair of cactus wrens may lay 1 to 3 broods annually.