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Bewick's Wren - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Leslie
Moorpark, California, USA November 2003
Thryomanes bewickii


L. 12–13·5 cm (4¾-5¼ in) Ws. 18.4cm (7.25in)

  • Overall drab color
    • Grays in the West; browns in the East
  • Unmarked, lighter underside
    • White to gray
  • Long barred tail
  • Decurved bill
  • White eyebrow

Similar Species

Similar to Carolina Wren


Throughout the SW quadrant and Pacific Coastal regions of the U.S., extending deeply into central Mexico. Much less common east of the Mississippi, with dramatically declining populations extending to the Appalachian mountains.


A study shows genetic divisions within this species possibly indicating a future split.


In the order of 15 geographically separate subspecies have been documented[1]; two went extinct in the early 1900s from predation and habitat destruction.

bewickii Group

mexicanus Group

spilurus Group

  • T. b. calophonus: South-western British Columbia to western Washington and western Oregon
  • T. b.i drymoecus: South-western Oregon to California (Sacramento and n San Joaquin valleys)
  • T. b. marinensis: Coastal California (Del Norte County to Marin County)
  • T. b. spilurus: Coastal central California (San Francisco to Monterey Bay)
  • T. b. leucophrys: Formerly San Clemente I. (off southern California). Extinct; last reported in 1941
  • T. b. charienturus: Southwestern California (north to Morro Bay), including the northern Channel Islands, and northwestern Baja California, Mexico
  • T. b. cerroensis: West-central Baja California (30° to 26°N) and Isla Cedros
  • T. b. magdalenensis: Southern Baja California south of 26ºN
  • T. b. brevicauda: (Extinct ca 1903): Formerly Guadalupe Island (off Baja California)


Open country; mixed scrub, grass, and wooded areas.


A relatively tame and conspicuous bird, it allows close approach, and is comfortable in man-made environments, often nesting in cavities provided by structures.


Their diet consists almost entirely of insects.




Two birds in conversation
Recording by SanAngelo
San Angelo State Park, North Unit, Texas, July 2016


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Paper describing genetic findings with this species
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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