Some of the Southwestern Wrens

by Margaret Brown | Dec 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Cactus Wren eating cactus fruit
Cactus Wren eating cactus fruit. Photo © Jay Pierstorff/

In the southern part of California, the climate is dry. Not much rain falls in a whole year. Some types of birds like a dry environment like this. These birds do not need much water to survive.

A cute little Bewick’s Wren lives in an arid California neighborhood. Its color is grayish brown. It has a white band above the eye and a tail that sticks up. This Bewick’s Wren dwells under a glossy green hedge in a lady’s front yard. It has a good shelter in that clump of shrubs. It feeds on tiny spiders that make webs there.

This Bewick’s Wren likes to enter the lady’s sunny patio. The wren comes to the patio every day all year long. First, it hops out from under the hedge. It looks around for any sign of danger. Then it scurries into the bright patio. It searches for tasty bugs there.

The Bewick’s Wren finds grasshoppers in the small patio garden. It eats ants from the soil. It hurries here and there looking for more insects. It hops into a big pot where a tall plant is growing. The wren climbs up and down and all around that plant. It gleans little bugs from the plant’s leaves.

Another kind of wren that likes a dry habitat is the Canyon Wren. This type of wren also lives in Southern California, but not where the Bewick’s Wren lives. A Canyon Wren lives deep in a canyon! It finds insects between rocks. Those insects give the wren enough liquid. It almost never drinks fresh water.

The Canyon Wren has a long tail the color of rust. Its throat and upper chest are pure white. The Canyon Wren’s song is loud and beautiful. There is something else amazing about this wren. It can actually climb up a steep canyon wall—right up to the edge of the cliff!

The deserts of Southern California are home to the Cactus Wren. It dwells near scratchy bushes called mesquite. It often builds a nest right on a cactus plant! The Cactus Wren does not mind those sharp spikes. In fact, with its thick, strong beak, it can pull liquid from a cactus.

The Cactus Wren is a busy bird and a noisy one. It is usually not solitary. It prefers to gather with other Cactus Wrens.
The Cactus Wren has a long tail. It has dark marks and white streaks on its body. This wren is quite a bit larger than other kinds of wrens—about the size of a Spotted Towhee.

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