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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

House Wren -- Troglodytes aedon

RANGE: Breeds from southern and east-central British Columbia and northern Alberta east to southwestern Quebec and New Brunswick, and south to Baja California, Mexico, western and northern Texas, central Arkansas, southern Tennessee, and North Carolina. Winters from southern California to northern Texas, the northern portion of the Gulf States, and coastal Maryland south to Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and Florida.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Originally associated with deciduous forests and open woods, it has adapted to woody vegetation in cities, towns, and around farms. Frequents edges of woodlands, open forests, clearings, swampy woodlands, orchards, farmlands, and suburban gardens. Ranges from the plains up to near timberline in the West but avoids high elevations in the East.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Woody vegetation and cavities for nesting.

NEST: Uses almost any type of cavity as a nest site, including natural cavities in trees, fenceposts, or stumps, woodpecker holes, and birdhouses or other artificial cavities with openings preferably about 1 inch in diameter. Typically chooses a nest site less than 10 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Gleans and hawks insects, which form 98 percent of its diet.

REFERENCES: Bent 1948, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979, Kendeigh 1941.

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