Desert Animals

Cactus Wren
Cactus Wren
Class: Aves: Birds Diet: Insects
Order: Passeriformes: Perching birds 
Size: body:18 - 22 cm (7 - 8 1/2 in)
Family: Troglodytidae: Wrens Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus Habitat: desert, arid scrubland
Range: Southwestern U.S.A. to central Mexico

Size of Cactus WrenThe largest North American wren, the cactus wren has a distinctive white stripe over each eye and a longer-than-usual tail, which it does not normally cock up. Cactus wrens frequent areas with thorny shrubs, cacti and trees and forage mostly on the ground around vegetation for insects, such as beetles, ants, wasps, and grasshoppers, and occasionally lizards or small frogs. Some cactus fruit and berries and seeds are also eaten. The wrens can run swiftly but usually fly if traveling any distance. Nests are made for roosting in at night and for shelter in bad weather. The breeding season begins in March or April, and there may be two or three broods. The nest is a bulky, domed structure, made of plant fibers, twigs and dead leaves, with a tubelike side entrance that can be up to 15 cm (6 in) long; it is lined with fur or feathers. The nest is situated on a prickly cholla cactus or amid the sharp leaves of a yucca or other thorny bush. From 3 to 7 eggs, usually 4 to 5, are laid and then incubated by the female for about 16 days.

Range of Cactus Wren
Copyright © 2006 Missouri Botanical Garden
MBGnet Home