| Home | Warning | Gear | Books | Photography | Hikes | Links | Flora & Fauna | Etiquette | About Me | What's New |



Cactus Wren

Natural History

While most wrens are dull brown in color, the Cactus Wren is distinguished with stripes on its wings and head and collection of dark spots on the upper breast. The bird is found in low deserts and foothills in areas consisting of cactus, yucca, mesquite and chaparral and subsists on insects, fruit pulp and seeds. The wren typically forages for food on the ground and in low trees, using its bill to probe in crevices and pry into ground litter. Unlike other wrens, the Cactus Wren often forages in pairs or in family groups. 

The Cactus Wren is the State Bird of Arizona.

The Cactus Wren nests from mid-March to early September producing a football shaped nest in the branches of a cholla, saguaro, palo verde or mesquite tree. Both male and female birds help to build the nest from grasses, after which the female lays 3-5 small, whitish eggs with brown spots. While the eggs are being incubated by the female, the male builds another nest used for roosting. Both parents care for the young until they are ready to fledge about 21 days after hatching.

Back to Flora & Fauna