Cactus Wren

[cactus wren]

The Arizona state bird, the cactus wren is the largest of the North American wrens. Distinguished from other wrens by its size and heavy dark spots. The cactus wren also has a white stripe over the eye and  white spots in the outer tail.

Curious and noisy

The very active, curious cactus wren's unusual "chug-chug" call is one of the most conspicuous in the Foothills. Even though they carry no melody or song-like quality, these territorial characters have a wide vocabulary using a "growl, scri, squal, buzz, tek, dzip, peep, buzz, and rack" to communicate. Quick to investigate any and all new items in their territory, you may find them making an  in-depth inspection of your garage, and if your car windows are down, checking out your car's interior. They enjoy harassing a pet cat or dog that enters their territory.   

Maintain several homes

Male and female have identical black-spotted markings and size.  The pair of birds build large, football-shaped nests in cholla cactus all year round, one nest for breeding and one for roosting. They lay three to six eggs and the chicks stay with the parents for about 50 days, which is longer than most other species. Well-adapted to the desert they can survive without water relying on the juice of insects.

  Copyright 1996 All rights reserved.
Friends of the Scenic Drive, Division of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association
Scottsdale, AZ 85255