|Species: Pacific Wren
The Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) has recently been split
into three species, with T. pacificus (Pacific Wren) and T. hiemalis
(Winter Wren) being the two North American species. Troglodytes is
an Old World wren. A superb songster and more often heard than seen,
this small, brown wren is found along the pacific coast of N.
America from Alaska south to the mid California coast. It is also
found in the interiors of B.C., Washington, Oregon, California,
Idaho and Montana.
General: Tiny, short-tailed, and thin-billed wren. Length: 10
cm, weight: 9 g.
Adult Male: Overall dark brown plumage and short but
well-defined supercilium (eye brow) is distinctive. Pale brown
throat and heavily barred dark flanks, wings and tail.
Adult Female: Sexes similar.
Juvenile: Dark brown overall but dark barring is less
Similar Species: Pacific Wren is smaller and darker than
Behavior: This tiny species usually keeps its tail cocked up
and has a habit of almost continually bobbing its head. It creeps
mouse like about woodpiles and brush heaps, edges of swamps, on
conifer stumps and through ferns searching for insects. It is a
curious bird and is easily ‘pished’ out of the undergrowth. It sings
loudly from favorite perches.
Habitat: This species is unique among North American wrens in
its association with old-growth forests. It uses old-growth
structures (snags, downed logs, and large trees) for nesting,
foraging and roosting. It can also be found in mixed
The song of the Pacific Wren is a loud, rich, liquid and full song
with rising and falling high-pitched notes in a fine silver thread
of music lasting about seven seconds and containing 108-113 separate
notes. It sings from a low perch or on the ground.
Pacific Wren nests, made of mosses, grasses and twigs and lined with
hair and feathers are placed under roofs, in rock crevices, in
stumps, stream banks, natural cavities and nest boxes. The number of
eggs laid are from four to seven and are white with brown spots.
Clearcutting and some types of partial logging reduce habitat
suitability and this species is one of a few clearly harmed by
forest fragmentation in western North America.
Preferring the forested areas of the perimeter of Colony
Farm, Pacific Wren capture occurs minimally in April, June
and July. Juvenile dispersal is reflected by peak capture
rates (2010-2012; standardized as birds captured per 100 net
hours) in September and October.