Cactus Wren

Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus




Wrens (Troglodytidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pink with brown flecks

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In cholla cactus., In orange tree or side of man-made structure.

Nest Material:

Lined with feathers and fur., Stems, plant fibers, grass.





Cactus Wren: Large wren with black-and-white streaked reddish-brown back, dark crown with distinctive white stripe over eyes, white chin, and heavily spotted white underparts with buff wash on sides and belly. Wings and tail are dark with white bars. Bill is long and slightly decurved. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has fewer and paler breast spots and shorter tail.

Range and Habitat

Cactus Wren: Resident of arid and semi-arid regions in the southwestern United States, including southern California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas, extending south to central Mexico. Preferred habitats include deserts dominated by cholla cacti and other succulent cacti, spiny trees, and shrubs, with high temperatures, low humidity, and scarce water.

Breeding and Nesting

Cactus Wren: Two to seven pink eggs, flecked with brown, are laid in a nest made of rootlets, grass, and various stems, lined with feathers, hair and fur, and built in a rock ridge, crevice, burrow, bank, or building. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Cactus Wren: Eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps; occasionally takes seeds and fruits. Forages by searching under leaves and ground litter; also hunts in bushes and trees.


Cactus Wren: Song is a quick low guttural "guah guah guah guah guah", gaining in speed toward the end. Call consists of a rapid buzz of varying intensity.

Similar Species

Cactus Wren: Sage Thrasher is grayer, has plain bars on wings and back, brown-streaked underparts, spots are not clustered on breast, has white on tail corners only, and shorter almost straight bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X