Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Thomas Halverstadt/Flickr (CC 2.0)

Winter Wren

Winter Wren
Troglodytes troglodytes
Perching Birds | Family: Wrens, Troglodytidae

An estimated 43% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

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.

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.

Voice

A high-pitched, varied, and rapid series of musical trills and chatters; call note an explosive kit! or kit-kit!

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.

Habitat

Dense tangles and thickets in coniferous and mixed forests.

Range/Migration

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.