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10 Common Types of Wrens in the US (with Pictures)

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canyon wren perched on a stone

Wrens are extremely popular birds that you can find all over the place. These small birds are a joy to watch, and with so many varieties, they can live in a wide range of environments. From deserts to frozen tundra, you can find wrens everywhere. The United States is one of the few countries in the world with a bit of everything, so it’s no surprise that 10 different wren species call this country their home for at least part of the year.

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Top 10 Types of Wrens in the US:

1. House Wren

house wren perched

Image Credit: Bernell MacDonald, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Troglodytes aedon
Population: 160 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 5.9 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.4 ounces

The most common type of wren in the United States is the house wren. Their numbers exceed 160 million, and you can find them all across the continental United States.

While they’re not year-round residents anywhere in the U.S., they cover just about every square inch at some point throughout the year.


2. Carolina Wren

carolina wren perched on a tree

Image Credit: George, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus
Population: 17 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 11.4 inches
Weight: 0.6 to 0.8 ounces

If you live on the eastern side of the United States, the Carolina wren is likely a year-round resident near you. While they don’t venture farther north than Massachusetts, you can find them all the way down the coast and around the Gulf of Mexico.

With their numbers exceeding 17 million, these birds are plentiful, but they’re not quite as populous as the house wren.


3. Winter Wren

Winter wren in natural habitat

Image Credit: aaltair, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Troglodytes hiemalis
Population: 11 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 4.7 to 6.3 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.4 ounces

The winter wren is another bird that you can find along the East Coast. They spend most of their time in the United States during the winter months, though you can find a few small pockets where they have a year-round presence in Pennsylvania and New York. During the warmer months, they fly farther north and live throughout Canada.


4. Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren on a tree branch

Image Credit: houleps, Pxhere

Scientific Name: Cistothorus palustris
Population: 9.4 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 5.9 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.5 ounces

The marsh wren is a bird that you can find just about anywhere in the continental United States for at least part of the year. But while other birds have more typical migration areas, the marsh wren is a bit more complicated.

They have a non-breeding range in some of the lower states, and they visit the northern states during the breeding season. However, they don’t ever settle in many of the areas in between, only flying through there when migrating.


5. Bewick’s Wren

bewick's wren bird

Image Credit: A. Viduetsky, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Thryomanes bewickii
Population: 7.9 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 7.1 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.4 ounces

While you can find the Bewick’s wren in the United States, they have a small range. If you head to a few of the states in the center of the United States, you can find these birds. However, they also live up the Pacific coast, inhabiting the entire coastline of California, Oregon, and Washington State all year round.

In the central United States, you can find them in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oklahoma.


6. Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren near a split avocado fruit

Image Credit: Neil Yonamine, Pexels

Scientific Name: Troglodytes pacificus
Population: 7.5 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 4.7 to 6.3 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.4 ounces

As the name implies, you’re only going to find the Pacific wren if you’re near the Pacific coast. You can find them as far south as Los Angeles during the non-breeding season, but they are year-long residents all the way up and along the Alaskan coastline.


7. Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren

Image Credit: Rob Jansen, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Cistothorus stellaris
Population: 5.4 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 4.7 to 5.5 inches
Weight: 0.3 ounces

The sedge wren is another bird in the wren family that has a peculiar range in the United States. They mostly hang out around the Gulf Coast, but you can find them in northern states like Michigan and Wisconsin during the breeding season.

They only visit the in-between areas during migration. Furthermore, if you head too far east or west, you’ll miss these birds entirely.


8. Cactus Wren

cactus wren bird perched on cactus

Image Credit: John D Sirlin, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Population: 7 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 11 inches
Weight: 1.18 and 1.65 ounces

The name of the cactus wren tells you exactly where you can find these birds. They thrive in warm climates, and you can find them in southern portions of the United States.

They live in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. These are all areas with plenty of deserts, and that’s exactly where you can find the cactus wren.

While the cactus wren is a small bird, it’s actually the largest wren in the United States.


9. Canyon Wren

canyon wren on rocks

Image Credit: A. Viduetsky, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Catherpes mexicanus
Population: 1 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 7.1 to 7.9 inches
Weight: 0.3 to 0.7 inches

While many wrens prefer to hang out on the eastern coast of the United States, that’s not the case with the canyon wren. These small birds live on the western side of the country, but they don’t live along the Pacific coast, like many other wrens.

Wherever they live, they are year-round inhabitants. They can handle hot Texas summers and frigid Idaho winters with ease.


10. Rock Wren

Singing Rock Wren

Image Credit: rck_953, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Salpinctes obsoletus
Population: 4.1 million
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Wingspan: 8.7 to 9.4
Weight: 0.5 to 0.6 ounces

The rock wren is a small bird that lives in the United States. They’re considered a “short distance migrant” bird, and when you look at their range, it’s not hard to see why.

They have plenty of year-round areas where they reside in the United States, though. While you can find them in cold states, like Montana and Idaho, they generally only live there during the warm summer months, when they’re looking to breed.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about all the different wren species in the United States, you can try to track down a few of them to watch on your own.

These small birds are beautiful to look at, and due to their extreme adaptability and versatility, it doesn’t seem like any of them are going anywhere any time soon.


Featured Image Credit: Matthew Jolley, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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