Overview

Brief Summary

Thryothorus ludovicianus

A medium-sized (5 ¾ inches) wren, the Carolina Wren is most easily identified by its plain reddish-brown back, buff breast, long tail (often held up at an angle), long curved bill, and conspicuous white eye-stripes. This species may be distinguished from the similar House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by that species’ small size and fainter eye-stripes and from Bewick’s Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) by that species’ smaller size and paler plumage. Male and female Carolina Wrens are similar to one another in all seasons. The Carolina Wren occurs in much of the eastern United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico, being absent only from northern New England and the upper Midwest. Isolated populations also occur in southern Mexico and Central America. The Carolina Wren is non-migratory in all parts of its range. Carolina Wrens inhabit a variety of well-vegetated habitats, including bushy fields, woodland undergrowth, and (in the southern part of its range) palmetto scrub. Where food and groundcover is available, this species is also present in suburban areas. Carolina Wrens primarily eat small insects, but may also eat small quantities of seeds and berries during the winter when insects are scarce. In appropriate habitat, Carolina Wrens may be seen foraging for food on the ground or in the branches of bushes and shrubs. Birdwatchers may also listen for this species’ song, a series of “chirpity” phrases repeated in rapid succession. Carolina Wrens are most active during the day.

Threat Status: Least concern

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Distribution

Geographic Range

Carolina wrens are year-round residents of the southeastern United States. They are found from the Atlantic seashore to as far west as Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and eastern Oklahoma. They are found as far north as southern Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and Ontario Canada. This species is also found in the northeast corner of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, as well in a few spots in Central America.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )

  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 1999. "Carolina Wren (Thryothorus Ludovicianus)" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001 at http://birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/speciesaccounts/CAROLINAWREN.htm.
  • Haggerty, T., E. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Pp. 1-20 in A Poole, F Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Vol. 188. Philadelphia, PA: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.
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Geographic Range

Carolina wrens are year-round residents of the southeastern United States. The distribution of this species stretches from the Atlantic seashore to as far west as Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and eastern Oklahoma. It is bounded in the north by southern Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and in extreme cases, Ontario Canada. The species has trickled as far southward as the northeast corner of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as parts of Central America. In unprecedented cases, Carolina wrens have been recorded as far west as New Mexico and Colorado, and as far north as Quebec, New Brunswick, and Maine.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )

  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 1999. "Carolina Wren (Thryothorus Ludovicianus)" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001 at http://birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/speciesaccounts/CAROLINAWREN.htm.
  • Haggerty, T., E. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Pp. 1-20 in A Poole, F Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Vol. 188. Philadelphia, PA: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Resident from eastern Nebraska east to southern Ontario and New England, south through eastern Mexico to Nicaragua, and to Gulf Coast and southern Florida. Northern range limit retracts after harsh winter, extends northward after mild winter.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Carolina wrens are small birds (though they larger than most Troglodytidae). They weigh about 20 g and are 12 to 14 cm long. Carolina wrens have a rusty-brown back and a lighter cinnamon-colored underside. Their throat and chin are white, and their wings and tail are brown with very fine black stripes. Carolina wrens also have a broad white stripe above each eye, which makes them easy to identify from other wrens. Carolina wrens have long, thin bills that curve downward. The top part of the bill (called the upper mandible) is dark, and the bottom part of the bill (called the lower mandible) is light-yellow. Carolina wrens have pink legs and long tails.

Male and female Carolina wrens are very similar. However, males are slightly heavier and often have longer bills, wings and tails. Young Carolina wrens look like adults, but are usually lighter colored.

Average mass: 20 g.

Range length: 12 to 14 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; polymorphic

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger; sexes shaped differently

Average mass: 17.5 g.

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Physical Description

Carolina wrens are small birds, though they are large relative to other wrens. They weigh about 20 g and are 12 to 14 cm long. Carolina wrens have a deep rusty-brown back and a lighter cinnamon-colored underside that is unbarred. The throat and chin are white, and the wings, tail and undertail are barred black (in addition to white barring on the wings). This distinct coloring along with a distinctive broad white stripe above each eye distinguish Carolina wrens from other wren species. Carolina wrens have long, thin, slightly decurved bills with a dark upper mandible and a light-yellow lower mandible. Their legs are pink, and their tails are relatively long.

Male and female Carolina wrens are very similar, though males are, on average, slightly heavier. Males often have somewhat more prominent features, including longer bills, wings and tails. Juveniles are very similar to adults, with slightly lighter plumage.

Four subspecies of Thryothorus ludovicianus are recognized by the American Ornithologists' Union. These subspecies are largely distinguished by size, plumage and geographic variation.

Average mass: 20 g.

Range length: 12 to 14 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; polymorphic

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger; sexes shaped differently

Average mass: 17.5 g.

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Size

Length: 14 cm

Weight: 21 grams

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Diagnostic Description

Differs from Bewick's wren in having buffy (vs. whitish) underparts and in lacking white on the tail.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Carolina wrens can live in many different types of habitats. They prefer wooded areas that are moist rather than dry. They also need dense shrubs or brush for hiding and feeding. Some of the habitats where you might find Carolina wrens include wooded areas along streams and swamps, in thickets and shrubbery, in piles of logs or decaying wood, farmyards, forests, suburban gardens, live oak and palmetto hummocks, isolated clumps of trees in prairies, and old sheds.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Wetlands: swamp

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

  • Hill Collins, Jr., H., N. Boyajian. 1965. Familiar Garden Birds of America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
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Carolina wrens inhabit a wide variety of habitat types from brushy clearcuts to wooded swamps. Moist woodlands are a preferred habitat type, and moderate to dense shrub or brushy cover is an important habitat requirement. Examples of Carolina wren habitats include wooded riparian zones, wooded swamps, thickets, shrubbery, undergrowth, masses of logs, decaying timber, farmyards, forests, suburban gardens, live oak and palmetto hummocks, isolated clumps of trees in prairies, and old sheds.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Wetlands: swamp

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; agricultural ; riparian

  • Hill Collins, Jr., H., N. Boyajian. 1965. Familiar Garden Birds of America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
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Comments: Open deciduous woodland, mostly in undergrowth and thickets; parks; also shrubbery of residential areas, hammocks, swamps, pine barrens; humid forest edge and clearings.

Nests in small niche or cavity in tree trunk or stump, in a crotch, among roots, in a bank, or among low undergrowth, usually less than 3 m above ground; also nests in various cavities or niches around buildings (Harrison 1978), including potted plants.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Carolina wrens are insectivores. They eat many different insects and spiders. They feed mostly on the ground, and seem to eat whatever they insects and spiders they find. Carolina wrens search for food by using their bills to move brush and vegetation, to search under brush piles, in decaying logs and trees, under tree bark, and around the banks of swamps. As ground feeders, Carolina wrens have trouble surviving long winters with a lot of snow. During harsh winters, Carolina wrens depend on bird feeders for food.

Scientists found that 94% of the food that Carolina wrens eat comes from animals (mostly insects) and 6% comes from plants (mostly seeds and fruit). Lepidoptera, bugs, Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Blattaria, Aranaea, Apocrita were the most common animal foods that Carolina wrens ate. Bayberry seeds, sweet gum, poison ivy, sumac, acorns and weeds were some of the plant foods that Carolina wrens ate.

Animal Foods: amphibians; reptiles; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

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Food Habits

Carolina wrens are ground-foraging insectivores. They eat a large variety of insects and spiders opportunistically, without showing much preference. Carolina wrens search for food by using their bills to move brush and vegetation, to search under brush piles, in masses of logs and decaying timber, under upturned roots, under tree bark, and around the banks of swamps. As ground feeders, Carolina wrens are vulnerable to harsh winters. During long winters, this species is often forced to retreat to man-made feeding stations and brush piles. Though they primarily feed on the ground, Carolina wrens may also be seen climbing tree trunks in a manner similar to creepers, prying under bark and in crevices.

A study of the stomach contents of 291 Carolina wrens found that 94% of the food was animal matter, while the remaining 6% was vegetable matter. The stomach contents broke down as follows: 22% caterpillars and moths, 19% bugs (including stick bugs, soldier bugs, leaf-legged bugs, leaf hoppers, and chinch bugs), 14% beetles (including ground beetles, weevils, cucumber beetles, bean leaf beetles, and flea beetles), 13% grasshoppers, crickets, and cockroaches, 11% spiders, 5% ants, bees, and wasps, 3% flies. Millipedes, sowbugs, snails, and cotton-boll weevils made up a small percentage of stomach contents. In a few rare instances, lizard, frog and snake remains were also found. The 6% vegetable matter was composed of bayberry seeds, sweet gum, poison ivy, sumac, acorn mast and weeds.

Animal Foods: amphibians; reptiles; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods; mollusks

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

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Comments: Eats mainly arthropods (Terres 1980); also sometimes small amphibians or reptiles, and some seeds. Picks food items from ground or gleans from foliage, logs, branches, and stems.

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Carolina wrens affect the populations of the insects and spiders they eat, and provide valuable food for their predators. They compete with other cavity-nesting species for nest sites. They also provide habitat for various parasites, including mites, lice, ticks, and Protocalliphora.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • mites
  • lice
  • ticks
  • Protocalliphora

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Predation

Birds such as Cyanocitta cristata, Accipiter cooperii and Accipiter striatus are the most likely predators of adult Carolina wrens.

Carolina wren eggs and nestlings are eaten by Procyon lotor, Elaphe obsoleta, Sciurus carolinensis, Mustela vision, Urocyon cinereoargenteus and Tamia striatus.

When predators come near, Carolina wrens may call in alarm or chase after the predator, sometimes pecking at it.

Known Predators:

  • Cyanocitta cristata
  • Accipiter cooperii
  • Accipiter striatus
  • Procyon lotor
  • Elaphe obsoleta
  • Sciurus carolinensis
  • Mustela vision
  • Urocyon cinereoargenteus
  • Tamia striatus

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Ecosystem Roles

Carolina wrens affect the populations of the insects and spiders they eat, and provide valuable food for their predators. They compete with other cavity-nesting species for nest sites. They also provide habitat for various parasites, including mites, lice, ticks, and blowfly larvae.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • mites
  • lice
  • ticks
  • blowfly larvae

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Predation

Predation of adult carolina wrens has not been documented. However, birds such as blue jays, Cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks are likely predators.

Carolina wren eggs and nestlings are vulnerable to predation by raccoons, black rat snakes, gray squirrels, mink, gray foxes and eastern chipmunks.

When approached by a predator, Carolina wrens may call in alarm or chase after the predator, sometimes pecking at it.

Known Predators:

  • blue jays
  • Cooper's hawks
  • sharp-shinned hawks
  • raccoons
  • black rat snakes
  • gray squirrels
  • mink
  • gray foxes
  • eastern chipmunks

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

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General Ecology

Pairs stay together on territory after breeding season.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Carolina wrens communicate using body signals and calls and songs. For example, Carolina wrens may use body signals to threaten another wren that enters their territory. To do this, a Carolina wren will hold their wings out, fan their tail and point their bill at the intruder.

Carolina wrens' songs are loud and high pitched. They sound like TEA-kettle, TWEEdle, SWEETheart, CHE-wortle, or CHOO-wee. Females are able to make sounds, but only males are able to make songs. The sounds and songs are used in many different situations. For examples, Carolina wrens may call or sing when they threaten a predator or another wren, while defending their territory, or to signal distress. Carolina wrens sing and call year-round.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Communication and Perception

Carolina wrens communicate using physical displays and vocalizations. Examples of physical displays employed by Carolina wrens include courtship displays (described in "Mating Systems") and agonistic displays that involve holding the body horizontal with the wings held out, the tail fanned and the head and bill pointed at the intruder. Physical displays are often accompanied by vocalizations.

The song of Carolina wrens is loud and high pitched. It consists of varied sounds including: trills, clacks, chatters (mostly used by females) and rattles. Songs normally contain 3 to 5 identical syllables, each containing 2 to 12 notes. The frequency has an average range of 1.8-4.5 kHz. The phonetic translation of these songs has been described as: TEA-kettle, TWEEdle, SWEETheart, CHE-wortle, and CHOO-wee. While females produce the basic sounds, only male Carolina wrens produce songs. The sounds and songs of this species can be used in a number of situations. A few of these instances include: to threaten a predator or another wren, in interspecific mobbing, during territorial defense, to indicate mood, for appeasement between mates, as a "distress" call, to differentiate rivals by sex, etc. Carolina wrens sing at all times of the year and all times of the day, but they are heard most frequently during late winter and early spring.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

The oldest known Carolina wren lived at least 6 years and 1 month.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
6.1 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
111 months.

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Lifespan/Longevity

The oldest known Carolina wren lived at least 6 years and 1 month.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
6.1 (high) years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
111 months.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 9.2 years (wild)
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Reproduction

Carolina wrens are monogamous. Males and females form breeding pairs that remain together for many years. Male Carolina wrens try to attract a mate by performing courtship displays for her. They may hop around the female in a circle while puffing out their feathers and fanning their tail. They may also bring food to a female to try to attract her. This is called courtship feeding.

Mating System: monogamous

Carolina wrens breed between March and October. The male and female work together to build a nest. The nest is built in the mornings, and takes up to a week to build. Carolina wrens will build their nests in a wide variety of sites. These include upturned roots, tree stumps, vine tangles, conifer branches, overhangs, abandoned woodpecker holes, boxes, tin cans, old shoes, mailboxes, old articles of clothing and furniture, window sills and coffee pots. The nests are usually built of twigs, grasses, weeds, leaves, mosses, pine needles, bits of bark and found objects such as hair, string, feathers, etc. The average nest is 8 to 23 cm long and 8 to 15 cm wide. Nests are usually less than 1.8 m above the ground. Each nest is only used once.

Females lay 3 to 7 (average 4) eggs. One egg is laid each day in the early morning. The eggs are light cream to pinkish-white with dark spots near the ends. They are oval shaped and about 18 mm long. Females can begin laying eggs as early as March in southern populations and as early as April in northern populations. Carolina wrens nesting in the northern part of the range generally raise two broods per year, while pairs in the souther part of the range can raise up to three broods.

The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 16 days. Meanwhile, the male spends his time gathering food and delivering it to the female. When the chicks hatch, they are helpless. They have closed eyes (which open after three days), pale gray down, translucent pink skin and a yellow bill.

The female broods the chicks for the first four days after hatching. This protects them and keeps them warm. After four days, the female broods the chicks mostly at night. Both parents feed the chicks butterfly and moth larvae, crickets, grasshoppers and beetles.

The chicks leave the nest after 12 to 14 days. After they leave the nest, the chicks stay together and the parents continue to feed them for about 4 weeks. The young Carolina wrens are able to breed the next spring when they are about a year old.

Breeding interval: Carolina wrens may raise up to three broods per summer.

Breeding season: Carolina wrens breed between March and October.

Range eggs per season: 3 to 7.

Average eggs per season: 4.

Range time to hatching: 12 to 16 days.

Range fledging age: 12 to 14 days.

Average time to independence: 4 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

Average eggs per season: 5.

Male and female Carolina wrens both care for their young. The male and female work together to build the nest and feed the chicks. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young herself. While she is doing this, the male brings food to her.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Male, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female)

  • Hill Collins, Jr., H., N. Boyajian. 1965. Familiar Garden Birds of America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 1999. "Carolina Wren (Thryothorus Ludovicianus)" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001 at http://birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/speciesaccounts/CAROLINAWREN.htm.
  • Haggerty, T., E. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Pp. 1-20 in A Poole, F Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Vol. 188. Philadelphia, PA: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.
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Carolina wrens are monogamous. Breeding pairs remain together for many years until one member of the pair dies or disappears. Male Carolina wrens put on an elaborate show in order to attract a mate. Their courtship involves encircling a female wren in a stiff, hopping, pattern while puffing out the feathers and fanning the tail. Occasionally a male will bring an offering of food to entice the female.

Mating System: monogamous

Carolina wrens breed between March and October. Both members of a breeding pair work together to build a suitable nest. Nest construction takes place in the morning hours, and lasts up to one week. The first nests of the season are often larger and more time consuming than later nests. Carolina wrens will build their nests in a wide variety of natural and artificial sites. These include upturned roots, tree stumps, vine tangles, conifer branches, overhangs, abandoned woodpecker holes, boxes, tin cans, old shoes, mailboxes, old articles of clothing and furniture, window sills and coffee pots. The nests are usually built of twigs, grasses, weeds, leaves, mosses, pine needles, bits of bark and found objects such as hair, string, feathers, etc. The average nest is 8 to 23 cm long and 8 to 15 cm wide, and is usually less than 1.8 m above the ground. Nests are not reused for additional broods.

Females lay 3 to 7 (average 4) eggs at a rate of one per day. Eggs are usually laid within 1 to 2 hours of sunrise. Egg laying can begin as early as March in southern populations, and can continue through the summer. Carolina wrens nesting in the northern part of the range generally raise two broods per year, while pairs in the souther part of the range can raise up to three broods. Eggs are generally light cream to pinkish-white and spotted with dark purple to brown flecks near the ends of the egg. Carolina wrens' eggs are oval shaped and about 18 mm long.

The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 16 days. Meanwhile, the male spends his time gathering and delivering food to the female. The eggs usually hatch within one hour of each other. The newly hatched young have closed eyes (which open in three days), pale gray down, translucent pink skin and a yellow bill. They are fed immediately upon emerging.

During the first four days after hatching, the young are brooded intensively by the female. After this, the female continues to brood the young at night. The young are fed butterfly and moth larvae, crickets, grasshoppers and beetles by both parents.

The chicks leave the nest 12 to 14 days after hatching. After much coaxing from parents (for instance, adults will decrease food deliveries) the young depart the nest by hopping and flying erratically. The parents continues to visit the young, who remain together, for feeding purposes for weeks after they depart. The young become independent about 4 weeks after fledging. The young Carolina wrens are able to breed the first spring following their birth.

Breeding interval: Carolina wrens may raise up to three broods per summer.

Breeding season: Carolina wrens breed between March and October.

Range eggs per season: 3 to 7.

Average eggs per season: 4.

Range time to hatching: 12 to 16 days.

Range fledging age: 12 to 14 days.

Average time to independence: 4 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

Average eggs per season: 5.

Carolina wrens share parental care. Both members of a breeding pair build the nest and feed the young. The female does all of the incubating of eggs and brooding of young. Meanwhile, the male brings food to the incubating female.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Male, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female)

  • Hill Collins, Jr., H., N. Boyajian. 1965. Familiar Garden Birds of America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 1999. "Carolina Wren (Thryothorus Ludovicianus)" (On-line). Accessed March 14, 2001 at http://birds.cornell.edu/birdhouse/speciesaccounts/CAROLINAWREN.htm.
  • Haggerty, T., E. Morton. 1995. Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus). Pp. 1-20 in A Poole, F Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Vol. 188. Philadelphia, PA: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.
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Clutch size is 4-8 (usually 5-6). Often produces two broods per year, sometimes three in the south. Incubation lasts 12-14 days, by female. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at 12-14 days.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Thryothorus ludovicianus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 8 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTATACTTAATCTTTGGCGCATGAGCCGGGATAGTAGGCACTGCCCTAAGCCTTCTCATCCGAGCAGAGTTAGGCCAACCTGGCGCCCTGCTGGGAGACGACCAGGTCTACAACGTGATCGTCACAGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTCATAGTTATGCCAATTATAATCGGAGGGTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCCCTAATAATCGGAGCCCCCGACATAGCATTCCCCCGAATAAACAACATGAGCTTCTGACTTCTCCCCCCATCCTTCCTGCTCCTACTAGCCTCCTCCACTGTCGAAGCAGGAGTAGGAACAGGCTGAACCGTCTACCCACCTCTAGCAGGCAACCTAGCTCACGCCGGAGCATCAGTCGACCTGGCCATCTTCTCCCTCCACCTGGCGGGTATCTCATCCATTTTAGGCGCAATCAACTTCATCACAACAGCAATCAACATAAAACCTCCTGCCCTATCCCAATACCAAACACCCCTATTTGTCTGATCAGTCCTAATCACCGCAGTCCTACTTCTTCTCTCCCTCCCTGTCCTCGCCGCGGGCATCACCATGCTGCTAACAGACCGAAACCTCAACACCACATTCTTTGACCCTGCCGGAGGAGGAGACCCAGTTCTTTACCAACATCTATTTTGATTCTTTGGCCACCCAGAAGTCTNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thryothorus ludovicianus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Carolina wrens are very adaptable and are able to live in many different habitats. This ability has helped Carolina wrens to remain common and widespread. There are about 17,000,000 Carolina wrens in the world.

Humans do help Carolina wrens in the northern part of their range where harsh winters can kill a lot of birds. In northern areas, people build nest boxes that the wrens can use for roosting and nesting.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Because Carolina wrens are highly adaptable and able to inhabit a range of habitats, this species is common and widespread. With an estimated global population of 17,000,000 individuals, this species is thriving, and its range is increasing. Humans do manage for Carolina wrens in the northern part of their range where harsh winters can severely impact populations. During harsh winters, conservation organizations may place nest boxes in the wrens' habitat to aid in survival. These boxes are used for roosting and nesting.

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread and common; persists near human habitation.

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Population

Population Trend
Increasing
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known negative effects of Carolina wrens on humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

We do not know of any way in which Carolina wrens affect humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known negative effects of Carolina wrens on humans.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

We do not know of any way in which Carolina wrens affect humans.

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Wikipedia

Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a common species of wren, resident in the eastern half of the USA, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. A distinct population in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Belize and extreme north of Guatemala is treated either as a subspecies Thryothorus ludovicianus albinucha, or as a separate species, White-browed Wren (Thryothorus albinucha) . Following a 2006 review,[3] these are the only wrens remaining in the genus Thryothorus. T. ludovicianus is the state bird of South Carolina; its specific name ludovicianus means "from Louisiana".

Description[edit]

Carolina Wren
A Carolina Wren on a wooden rail.

Typically 12.5 to 14 cm (4.9 to 5.5 in) with a 29 cm (11 in) wingspan and a weight of about 18 to 23 g (0.63 to 0.81 oz), it is a fairly large wren; among the United States species it is second largest after the Cactus Wren. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 5.4 to 6.4 cm (2.1 to 2.5 in), the tail is 4.5 to 5.6 cm (1.8 to 2.2 in), the culmen is 1.4 to 1.8 cm (0.55 to 0.71 in) and the tarsus is 2 to 2.3 cm (0.79 to 0.91 in).[4] The upperparts are rufous brown, and the underparts a strong orange-buff, usually unmarked but faintly barred on the flanks in the southwest of the range. The head has a striking pure white supercilium (eyebrow) and a whitish throat. The race albinucha is duller brown above and has additional white streaking on the head.

It is easiest to confuse with the Bewick's Wren, a fairly close relative,[5] which differs in being smaller but with a longer tail, grayer-brown above and whiter below. The Carolina and White-browed Wrens differ from the House Wren in being larger, with a decidedly longer bill and hind toe; their culmen has a notch behind the tip.[6]

Song and calls[edit]

The Carolina Wren is noted for its loud song, popularly rendered as "teakettle-teakettle-teakettle". This song is rather atypical among wrens and closely resembles that of the Kentucky Warbler which shares much of its range. A given bird will typically sing several different songs. Only the male birds sing their loud song.[7] The songs vary regionally, with birds in northern areas singing more slowly than those in southern areas.

The Carolina Wren also has a series of calls, including a rapid series of descending notes in a similar timbre to its song, functioning as an alarm call, and a very harsh and loud scolding call made to threaten intruders.

Ecology[edit]

The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather. Since they do not migrate and stay in one territory the northern populations of Carolina wrens decrease markedly after severe winters. Because of this sensitivity to weather, gradually increasing temperatures over the last century may have been responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the mid-1900s.[7]

Populations in Canada and the northern half of the US experience regular crashes following severe winters, but their high breeding productivity soon results in a return to higher numbers. These birds are generally permanent residents throughout their range and defend territory year round; some birds may wander north after the breeding season.

They eat insects, found in leaf litter or on tree trunks; they may also eat small lizards or tree frogs. In winter, they occasionally eat seeds, berries, and other small fruits.

Carolina Wren nesting on a porch.

Reproduction[edit]

These birds prefer sites with dense undergrowth, either in mixed forests or in wooded suburban settings, in a natural or artificial cavity. The nest is a bulky, often domed structure, with a small hole towards the top. Nests of the more domestically-inclined wrens have been reported in a great variety of nooks and crannies in, about, or under buildings of various kinds, under bridges, or in holes in any structure such as a porch, fence-post, flowerpot, tree, house or barn. Almost any kind of receptacle may offer an acceptable nesting site. Pairs may mate for life.

Females typically lay between four to six eggs (normally over a period of several days) up to three times per year (but normally only twice). Eggs are oval, grayish-white and sprinkled with reddish-brown spots. Incubation is performed by the female only and lasts anywhere from 12–14 days, with the first young leaving the nest 12–14 days after hatching. Chicks hatch bald and blind, and depend upon parents until fledging. Both the male and female feed the young. They only brood for a short period of time after hatching, leaving the young in a warm, down-lined nest while adults search for food. If conditions are right, the same nest may be used more than once.


References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Thryothorus ludovicianus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ David, Normand; & Dubois, Alain (2011). "The original spellings of Thryothorus Vieillot, 1816 (Vertebrata, Aves): a correction". Zootaxa 2918: 68–68. 
  3. ^ Mann, Nigel I.; Barker, F. Keith; Graves, Jeff A.; Dingess-Mann, Kimberly A. & Slater, Peter J.B. (2006). "Molecular data delineate four genera of "Thryothorus" wrens". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (3): 750–9. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.04.014. PMID 16750640. 
  4. ^ Brewer, David and McMinn, Sean (2001) Wrens, Dippers, and Thrashers: A Guide to the Wrens, Dippers, and Thrashers of the World, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300090598.
  5. ^ Martínez Gómez, Juan E.; Barber, Bruian R. & Peterson, A. Townsend (2005). "Phylogenetic position and generic placement of the Socorro Wren (Thryomanes sissonii)". The Auk 122: 50. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0050:PPAGPO]2.0.CO;2. 
  6. ^ Brattstrom, Bayard H. & Howell, Thomas R. (1956). "The Birds of the Revilla Gigedo Islands, Mexico". Condor 58 (2): 107–120. doi:10.2307/1364977. 
  7. ^ a b "All About Birds:Carolina Wren". Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Population in Middle America (Yucatan Penninsula, plus isolated localities in Guatemala and Nicaragua) sometimes has been regarded as a distinct species, T. ALBINUCHA (e.g., Phillips 1986, who suspected that ALBINUCHA belongs in the genus TROGLODYTES).

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