Woodland Birds, Pacific Northwest
The Bewick’s Wren will spend all year on the south coast of BC. You can hear them uttering a series of sharp notes followed by a buzzy rasp. When alarmed, it will alert other birds by accosting the intruder with a loud scolding. You can call these birds to you with a hissing sound that they think is another wren in distress.
A small member of the wren family, the Bewick’s Wren is about 14 cm long. It is usually brown and gray. This songbird has an average length tail which is often cocked over its back. The tail is barred black and white on the outermost parts while it is brown and black in the middle part. Tail wagging from side to side is characteristic of the Bewick’s Wren. Though most of its parts are brown, it has a white throat and its underparts are light gray. They have a long white stripe over the eye and a thin pointed bill.
Male and female birds look alike. Immature birds are similar to adult birds. However, their chest feathers are a bit darker.
The Bewick’s wren prefers to inhabit brushy areas with thick undergrowth. It can be found in areas such as yards, orchards, streamsides, and forests. It is a cavity nest builder and will build its nest in almost any cavity. The Bewick’s Wren prefers to build nests in low places. It will even nest under bushes or brush heaps, but will also use birdhouses.
The nest of Bewick’s Wren is mostly made up of sticks. It is lined with leaves, grass, and feathers. Male Bewick’s Wrens build the nest for the female. In fact, they build several nests for the female to choose from.
Males sing a song which is similar to a song sparrow’s song during mating season. Bewick’s wrens usually start nesting early in February. A pair will usually raise one brood per season. However, two broods are not that unusual.
It feeds mainly on insects and spiders. It finds its food by foraging along the ground and through the trees.