Description of the Bewick's Wren

BREEDING MALE

The Bewick’s Wren has variably brown or grayish-brown upperparts, pale grayish underparts, a long, white line above the eye, and a long, brown tail barred with black that is usually held cocked upright.

 

bewicks-wren

Female

Sexes similar.

Seasonal change in appearance

None.

Juvenile

Juveniles are similar to adults.

Habitat

Bewick’s Wrens inhabit brushy undergrowth, gardens, and woodlands.

Diet

Bewick’s Wrens primarily eat insects, but also, rarely, berries.

Behavior

Bewick’s Wrens forage by hopping on trunks, branches, or on the ground.

Range

Bewick’s Wrens are resident along the West Coast, throughout the southwestern U.S., and in parts of the eastern U.S. They leave some eastern breeding areas in the winter. The population is stable, except in the eastern U.S., where it is declining.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Bewick's Wren.

Wing Shape

The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.

Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History.

Fun Facts

There are 10 subspecies of Bewick’s Wrens north of Mexico, and they vary in plumage and song.

Eastern populations have diminished substantially in both range and number, possibly due to competition with House Wrens.

Vocalizations

The song is extremely variable, but is generally a series of buzzes and trills

Nesting

The Bewick’s Wren’s nest is made of twigs and lined with leaves and bark strips. It is placed in a tree cavity, nest box, or a variety of unusual locations.

Number: 5-7 eggs.

color: White with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 12-14 days and fledge at about 14 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for another several weeks.