Description of the Bewick's Wren
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. Length: 5 in. Wingspan: 7 in.
Photograph © Glenn Bartley
Seasonal change in appearance
Juveniles are similar to adults.
Bewick’s Wrens inhabit brushy undergrowth, gardens, and woodlands.
Bewick’s Wrens primarily eat insects, but also, rarely, berries.
Bewick’s Wrens forage by hopping on trunks, branches, or on the ground.
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.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Bewick's Wren.
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.
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.
The song is extremely variable, but is generally a series of buzzes and trills