Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus The largest wren in North America, this bird is a denizen of the desert Southwest. It may often be seen atop a spiny cactus, with head up and tail pointing down, delivering its harsh, low song. It nests in chollas and yuccas, whose prickles and sharp leaves keep would-be intruders at bay.

Identification Pale brown above, with bold black-and-white patterning on back, wings, and tail; buff below with heavily spotted throat and upper breast; flanks and belly have less heavy dark spots. Crown rust-brown; eyebrow white. Tail long; bill long, slightly downcurved.

Voice Song a low, gravelly chug-chug-chug-chug or cora-cora-cora.

Habitat Low-elevation deserts with cactus, palo verde, mesquite, and other thorny vegetation.

Range S. California to S. Texas, south into Mexico; does not migrate.

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