The Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is the state bird of Arizona. It forms permanent pair bonds, and the pairs defend a territory where they live all through the year.
The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, measuring 18-23 cm (7-9 inches) in length.
It has white eyestripes, a brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers.
It has a slightly curved bill.
Males and females look alike.
- Length: 6.5 inches
- Long, slightly decurved bill
- Bold white supercilium (line above eye) contrasting with dark and eyeline
- White throat
- Upper breast densely spotted with black
- Underparts white becoming buffy toward tail and spotted
- Upperparts grayish-brown with black and white streaks and spots
- Long tail barred with black and white
- Dark legs
- Sexes similar
- Similar species: Thrashers are somewhat similar but are larger and lack the white supercilium (line above eye) and dense spotting on the breast.
Distribution / Habitat:
The Cactus Wren is native to the south-western United States southwards to central Mexico.
It inhabits arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro.
It nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro.
It mainly eats insects, though it will occasionally take seeds or fruits. It rarely drinks water, getting its moisture from its food.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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