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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Bewick's Wren -- Thryomanes bewickii

RANGE: Breeds from southwestern British Columbia, southern Wyoming, eastern Nebraska, southeastern Minnesota, southern Ontario, and southeastern New York south to Mexico, central Texas, the northern portions of the Gulf States, central Georgia and central South Carolina. Resident in the West; winters from the northern limits of the breeding range, southern Kansas, the lower Ohio Valley, and North Carolina to Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and central Florida.

STATUS: Scarce and local throughout the eastern portion of the breeding range, locally common in the West.

HABITAT: Generally associated with dense, brushy habitats such as thickets of mesquite, oaks, and cacti; chaparral; mixtures of pine, junipers, and oaks; dense growths of alder, cottonwood, and willow. In the Southwest, occurs in mountain canyons up to 6,000 feet in elevation.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: A brushy understory and cavities for nesting.

NEST: Nests near the ground in secluded natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, rock crevices, deserted buildings, birdhouses, or in almost any cavity where a nest could be built. (Nest and nesting sites are like those of the house wren, and the two species usually compete when in the same area.)

FOOD: Gleans small insects and spiders (about 97 percent of diet) from, low trunks and branches of trees and brush, usually under dense cover.

REFERENCES: Beal 1907, Bent 1948, Johnsgard 1979, Miller 1941, Tate and Tate 1982, Verner and Boss 1980.

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