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Carolina Wren - BirdForum Opus

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Thryothorus ludovicianus


12·5–14 cm (5-5½ in)

  • White supercilium flaring at the end
  • Down-curved bill
  • Cinnamon upperparts
  • Buffy underparts
  • Some speckling on wings
  • Tail is barred

Regional variation: the southern form of Carolina Wren (White-browed Wren) from the Yucatan peninsula and Guatemala differs in having upperparts less rufous, underparts whitish to buff, and lack the barring on the flanks (or at least have this strongly reduced).

Similar species

Photo © by Danielbirdwatcher
South Carolina, USA, 25 April 2021

May be confused with Bewick's Wren, but note buffy underparts rather than grey (Bewick's).


Eastern USA, south of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and northeast Mexico. A separate population is centered on the Yucatan peninsula (southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and western Nicaragua.


Juvenile, subspecies ludovicianus
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County, Texas, USA, May 2013

The closest relative of Carolina Wren is Bewick's Wren.


White-browed Wren
Photo © by fishercl
Ixtapa, Mexico, January 2010

Nine subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • T.l. ludovicianus:
  • T.l. miamensis:
  • T.l. nesophilus:
  • Dog Island (off north-western Florida)
  • T.l. burleighi:
  • Cat Island, Ship Island and Horn Island (off Mississippi)
  • T.l. lomitensis:
  • Texas (lower Rio Grande Valley) and north-eastern Mexico (northern Tamaulipas)
  • T.l. berlandieri:
  • Mountains of eastern Mexico (eastern Coahuila, Nuevo León and south-western Tamaulipas)
  • T.l. tropicalis:
  • Tropical north-eastern Mexico (southern Tamaulipas and eastern San Luis Potosí)
  • T.l. albinucha:
  • South-eastern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) to Petén of northern Guatemala
  • T.l. subfulvus:
  • Arid interior of Guatemala to north-western Nicaragua

The Clements checklist divides these subspecies into three groups, of which the southernmost group (consisting of the last two subspecies) has been recognized as a full species (White-browed Wren Thryothorus albinucha) by some authors[2].


Prefers areas with bushes; can be found in forests, swamps, residential areas.



The diet includes spiders and insects.


Its nest is a domed cup with a side entrance, made from bark, dried grasses, dead leaves, hair, and feathers. The 3-7 brown-spotted cream eggs are incubated for 12-16 days.


Song: Loud, rolling song sometimes written as teakettle teakettle teakettle. Many variations, all rolling with a medium tempo and repetition.
Both male and female sing.
Call: Scolding call a harsh cheh cheh cheh...


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Lepage D. (2021) [Avibase - https://avibase.ca/5217F951 ]. Retrieved 28 April 2021
  3. Paper describing DNA analysis of the "Thryothorus" wrens
  4. Howell, SNG and S Webb. 1995. A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0198540120
  5. All About Birds
  6. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1