Comprehensive Guide to selected species of:
Birds of the Boreal Forest « back to Guide
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Family: Wrens, Troglodytidae
Audio: Martyn Stewart, © Naturesound.org
An estimated 43% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.
Description 4-4 1/2" (10-11cm). A tiny, dark brown bird with a very short tail, narrow pale eyebrow, and heavily banded flanks and belly. See House Wren.
Habitat Dense tangles and thickets in coniferous and mixed forests.
Nesting 5-7 brown-speckled white eggs in a bulky mass of twigs and moss, with an entrance on the side, lined with softer material and often concealed among the upturned roots of a fallen tree.
Voice A high-pitched, varied, and rapid series of musical trills and chatters; call note an explosive kit! or kit-kit!
Range Breeds from Alaska and British Columbia east through southern Canada to Newfoundland, and south to California, northern Idaho, Great Lakes region, and southern New England; also in mountains to Georgia. Winters across much of southern United States south to southern California, Gulf Coast, and Florida. Also in Eurasia.
Discussion This wren moves like a mouse, creeping through the low, dense tangle of branches covering the forest floor. Its nest is among the hardest to find; even when an observer has narrowed the search to a few square feet, he must sometimes give up, so cleverly is the nest concealed. The Winter Wren's song, when recorded and played back at half- or quarter-speed, reveals a remarkable blend of halftones and overtones all sung at the same time.