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The Bewick's Wren can be recognized by its white eye-line and breast and long, white-spotted tail. Freeuse photo

Exploring Nature: Wrens

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Wrens are members of a major bird family which contains over 60 species, mostly concentrated in Central and South America. There are no wrens in Alaska or Hawaii.

There are some 10 types of wrens in the continental U.S., including rock, marsh, canyon, house, Pacific, Bewick’s, winter, cactus, sedge and Carolina.

In our area, the Bewick’s (pronounced Buick’s like the car) is a common species. It is a far-ranging little bird, being found in all the western states, including most areas of Texas except for East Texas and the upper coast, where it is quite rare.

Brown above and white below, the Bewick’s wren has a long white-edged tail. When irritated, it has a buzzy call which has been compared to an “old-fashioned Bronx cheer.” I confess I have never heard this vocalization.

Insects, spiders and other invertebrates are this bird’s favorite foods. The female generally lays from five to seven whitish eggs, flecked with brown.

This wren was named by John James Audubon after Thomas Bewick, an English engraver who worked on Audubon’s famous bird prints. A friendly little bird, it is not shy of nesting around humans and takes up residence in open mail boxes, flower pots and about any handy cavity or crevice. If you have a bird nesting in a cast-off cowboy boot, it could well be the Bewick’s wren.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666