Cactus Wren TAXONOMY

Picocolaptes brunneicapillus Lafresnaye 1835, Guaymas, Mexico. Eight subspecies acknowledged.

OTHER NAMES

French: Troglodyte des cactus; German: Kaktuszaunkönig; Spanish: Matraca Desértica.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.2–7.6 in (18–19 cm); 1.2–1.6 oz, imply 1.Four oz (33.4–46.9 g, imply 38.9 g). The largest species of wren within the United States. The chicken is chocolate-brown above, with a plain cap. The again is closely streaked with black and white, the wings prominently barred with buff and blackish, the tail feathers with alternating blackish brown and gray-brown bars, the outer tail feathers conspicuously barred black and white. Underparts are buffwhite and closely noticed with black, particularly on chest. Lower flanks are buff. It has a conspicuous white supercilium. Eyes are reddish brown, invoice boring black with paler base, legs pinkish brown. S*xes are related. The juvenile has much less welldefined streaks and spots; eye coloration is muddy gray-brown.

DISTRIBUTION

Resident from southeast California, southwest Nevada, sourthern Arizona and New Mexico, southwest Texas by way of central Mexico as far south as Michoacán and Hidalgo; Baja California.

HABITAT

Semi-desert from sea stage to 4,500 ft (1,400 m), hardly ever to 6,500 ft (2,000 m), in numerous vegetation-types, offered that there are spiny cacti similar to cholla for nesting. Will adapt to badly degraded habitat as long as some spiny cactus nesting websites stay.

BEHAVIOR

A rambunctious and noisy chicken, normally present in pairs or household events. Song is a loud, harsh sequence of “jar-jar-jar” notes, regularly delivered from the highest of a cactus or different perch. Roosts in nests which can be typically constructed for that objective; outdated birds might roost alone, fledged broods are normally collectively.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Majority of food is invertebrate (ants, wasps, spiders, caterpillars, and so on.); additionally eats small frogs and lizards. Vegetable matter contains cactus seeds and fruit; might go to chicken feeders. Can exist with out ingesting, however will drink if water is on the market. Tends to feed on the bottom, overturning litter and stones for prey.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Nest is a conspicuous ovoid ball with a facet entrance gap, product of dry grasses and fibers and lined with feathers. Nests are virtually invariably situated in spiny cacti; little effort is made at concealment. Eggs normally quantity three to 5, generally two to seven, are buff or pinkish in coloration and finely speckled with reddish brown. Populations in Baja California have a tendency to lay smaller clutches. Incubation is by the feminine alone, about 16 days in size. Young are fed by each ####es for 19–23 days. In Arizona, nesting might start as early as January, extra normally February. Multibrooded; might try up to six broods a year, however solely three profitable broods are reared. Unlike tropical members of its genus, extra birds (aside from the breeding pair) hardly ever assist on the nest.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. In appropriate habitat some of the considerable species. Can face up to important habitat modification offered some spiny cactus stay for nesting websites.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

A well-recognized and standard native species, it's the state chicken of Arizona.