4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm). Gray with browner tail, throat, and flanks. Finely barred with black on tail, wings, and belly. Indistinct, buff eyeline above dark eye. Long, slightly curved bill.
Similar Species- Winter Wren
A rapid, bubbling trill that rises and falls.
Breeds from southern British Columbia, east across southern Canada to New Brunswick, and south to northern Baja California, Texas, and northern Georgia. Also breeds in Mexico and Central and South America. Winters in southern U.S., south to southern Mexico.
Found in thickets, shrubbery, brushy areas, partly-open situations, open woodlands, deciduous forests, farmlands, chaparral, and around human habitation.
Feeds almost entirely on insects, but may also eat other small invertebrates.
Nests in excavated cavity, preferably in standing snag or hollow tree. Will also use nest box. In Arizona study, breeding density was 10-18 pairs/40 ha in northern pine forest. Forages on ground, or takes food from vegetation. Sleeps in all seasons in crannies in buildings, holes in trees, niches in banks, or in similar sites. Sometimes destroys clutches of other birds, including conspecifics. Species is one of 7 neotropical migrants thought to be declining in Idaho.
Female incubates 5-9 eggs (commonly 6-8), for 12-15 days, and may produce 2-3 broods/yr. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 12-18 days; male may feed fledged young while female renests.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Saab, V. and C.R. Groves. 1992. Idaho's migratory landbirds: description, habitats, and conservation. Nongame Wildlife Leaflet #10, Idaho Dept. Fish & Game, Boise. 16pp.