|Photo by Mark Wagner (Wikipedia)|
cactus wren (en); carriça-dos cactos (pt); troglodyte des cactus (fr); ratona desértica (es); kaktuszaunkönig (de)
This species is found in south-western North America, from California and Nevada to Texas, in the United States, and south to central Mexico.
This large wren is 18-22 cm long and weighs 32-47 g.
The cactus wren in found in arid and semi-arid scrubland habitats, mostly dominated by succulent cacti, spiny trees and scrubs such as yucca, mesquite and saguaro. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.
They mainly feed on insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. They also eat seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs.
Cactus wrens breed in February-June. The nest is a large spherical structure made of dry grasses, often lined with feathers. It is placed in thorny trees and scrubs, particularly cholla cacti. There the female lays 3-5 buff-pinkish eggs with brown speckles, which she incubates alone for about 16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 19-23 days after hatching. Each pair may raise up to 3 clutches per year.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common to abundant. The population has undergone a small decline over the last 4 decades in the United States, which represents less than 50% of the population.