Cactus Wren | Arizona state Bird Facts

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus Brunneicapillus)

Description: A conspicuous sight and sound of the Southwestern deserts, the Cactus Wren is the largest wren in North America. Both active and curious, the Cactus Wren is known for poking its beak into places it shouldn’t such as an open car or the inside of a garage.


Year Designated: 1973


Key Facts

Life Span: 7 to 10 Years

Flight:          Flying Bird

Conservation Status: 

Least Concern




Weight32–47 g
Wing Span20-30 cm
Length18–22 cm

Taxonomic Serial Number


Compared to the Average State Bird

How the Cactus Wren measures up:

  • Wing span6 cm and 17% smaller than the average state bird’s wingspan (36 cm).
  • Weight38 g and 45% lighter than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
  • Length5 cm and 19% shorter than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)

Scientific Classification

AnimaliaChordataAvesPasseriformesTroglodytidae Campylorhynchus Brunneicapillus


Appearance Description:
Brownish upperparts with scattered white streaks, long white eyestriped, barred wings, and long, brown tail barred with black. Wings are short and rounded with black and white banding. Both sexes look alike.



Ants, beetles, wasps, grasshoppers and other insects. Spiders, the occasional tree frog or lizard, and some types of seeds and fruits.

Communication Styles:
Song is a rapid series of dry, chattering notes; calls include various harsh notes.

Migratory Behavior:

Range of Habitation:


Chapparal, arid lowland and montane thorn-scrub, suburbs.


coachwhips and other whipsnakes, coyotes, hawks, fox, bobcats or house cats.

Mating and Breeding

Breeding Overview :

Breeding BehaviorMonogamous, pairs often mate for life.
Breeding SeasonFebruary-March
NestingThe female will generally select a low-hanging branch on a shrub or thorny tree as a nest location. Domed with tunnel-shaped entrance, made of coarse grass or plant fibers. Lined with feathers. Nest placed in cactus or thorn tree, usually surrounded by thorns.
Nesting and Incubation16 days. The size of the clutch depends on food supply.



ColorPinkish, covered in small reddish brown spots which may be concentrated around the larger end.
Clutch Size4 to 5 egg(s)

Chick description

Juvenile with paler and more sparsely spotted underparts, darker crown, and lighter markings on back and wings. Fledging occurs in approximately 20 days, departure from the parents in 30 days.


Birding Facts

Interesting FactThe nearly fearless Cactus Wren has been known vigorously attack nest predators, such as squirrels, as well as the nests and eggs of other birds.
Best Season to ObserveSpringWinter
Observation TipsThe largest of all wrens, the Cactus Wren is easy to spot in the right ecological environment.
Other NamesTroglodyte des cactus, Matraca del desier


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