The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus
brunneicapillus) is a species of wren that is native to the southwestern United
States southwards to central Mexico.
The cactus wren is the largest North
American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the
cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The
cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family.
Its marked white eyestripe, brown
head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify.
Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little
The cactus wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles,
grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small
reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the
cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in
search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger
Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and
cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures.
Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used
even when found (Udvardy 1994; Ricklefs 1968; McCarthey 2000. The cactus wren is
a species of wren that is native to the southwest to centrul Mexico.
It is a bird of arid regions, and is
often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants,
sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by
the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a
The cactus wren forms permanent pair bonds, and the pairs defend a
territory where they live all through the year.
In residential areas, cactus wrens are notorious for getting into
mischief. Being curious birds, it is not uncommon for these wrens to be found
flying about out-of-place in automobiles where the owner has left a window open
or it may even enter homes with an open door or window and find itself
The cactus wren is the state bird of Arizona.