Saturday, 8 October 2011

Bewick's wren

Thryomanes bewickii

Photo from Minette Layne (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Bewick's wren (en); carriça-de-Bewick (pt); troglodyte de Bewick (fr); ratona tepetatero (es); buschzaunkönig (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Troglodytidae

This species is mostly found in western North America, breeding locally from southern British Columbia, Nebraska, southern Ontario, and southwestern Pennsylvania south to Mexico, Arkansas and the northern Gulf States.

The Bewick's wren in 12-14 cm long and has a wingspan of 16-17 cm. They weigh 8-12 g.

This species is mostly found in thickets, underbrush, gardens, but also in many brushy or wooded habitats at lower elevations, including undergrowth in woods of oak and pine, streamside groves, chaparral, desert washes and suburban areas.

Bewick's wrens mostly forage in the trees, but also on the ground, taking a wide variety of insects, including beetles, ants, wasps, hemipterans, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and many others. They also eat many spiders, and occasionally some berries and seeds.

These birds breed in April-July. They nest in a cup made of sticks, leaves, moss, spider egg cases, feathers, and hair, often lined with snake skin. The nest cup is usually placed in a cavity or on a shelf, although they can also use nest boxes. There the female lays 3-8 white eggs with brown and grey blotches, which she incubates alone for 14 days. Both parents feed the chicks which fledge 14 days after hatching. Each pair produces 2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
Bewick's wrens have a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 6 million individuals. Populations in the eastern United States have declined severely and are nearly gone, with only a few scattered breeding locations left. However, this species has greatly increased in number and range in the western United States, so the overall population trend was stable over the last 40 years.

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