Cactus Wrens are fairly large, conspicuous birds with a loud, monotonous, churring call. They are easily recognized by their heavily streaked and spotted plumage. They have a long white eye stripe, buff belly, dense black spots on the upper breast, black and white streaks and spots on the back and upper wings, and a long tail with black and white bars. Males and females look very similar.
Cactus Wrens are residents of arid habitats in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They are quite common in urban areas, especially in gardens and vacant lots with cacti and shrubs like jojoba and creosote. Males and females build large grass nests in cactus, especially chollas, shrubs or small trees. These birds have a long, slender, slightly curved bill and feed mostly on insects on the ground or near the ground in cactus or shrubs.
Cactus Wrens are members of the almost exclusively South and Middle American wren family, the Troglodytidae. This group consists of about 80 species of mostly small, brown birds.
- Phillips, A., J. Marshal, and G. Monson. 1964. The Birds of Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
- Rappole, J. 2000. Birds of the Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, and Southern Nevada. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.
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