The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus
ludovicianus) is a common species of wren resident
in the eastern half of the USA, the extreme south
of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and the extreme
northeast of Mexico. A separate population in
the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Belize is
treated either as a race Thryothorus ludovicianus
albinucha, or sometimes as a separate species,
White-browed Wren Thryothorus albinucha.
It is a fairly large wren, of
the US species, second largest after the Cactus
Wren, typically 14 cm long and about 20 g weight.
The upperparts are rufous brown, and the underparts
a strong orange-buff, usually unmarked but faintly
barred on the flanks in the southwest of the
range. The head has a striking pure white supercilium
(eyebrow) and a whitish throat. The race albinucha
is duller brown above has additional white streaking
on the head.
It is easiest to confuse with
the Bewick's Wren, which differs in being smaller
but with a longer tail, grayer-brown above and
The Carolina Wren is noted for
its loud song, popularly rendered as "teakettle-teakettle-teakettle".
Both male and female birds sing.
Populations in Canada and the
northern half of the US experience regular crashes
following severe winters, but their high breeding
productivity soon results in a return to higher
numbers. These birds are generally permanent
residents throughout their range and defend
territory year round; some birds may wander
north after the breeding season.
These birds prefer sites with
dense undergrowth, either in mixed forests or
in wooded suburban settings. The nest is a bulky,
often domed structure, in a natural or artificial
cavity. Pairs may mate for life.
These birds eat insects, found
in leaf litter or on tree trunks; they may also
eat small lizards or tree frogs. In winter,
they occasionally eat seeds, berries, and other
This is the state bird for South
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