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Cactus Wren

This bird can be prickly.

By: Jerry Poindexter
Updated July 05, 2021
Cactus Wren

The state bird of Arizona, the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is an unusual wren. It is larger than other North American wrens, measuring between six and eight and a half inches in length, and has a boldly spotted breast and throat. Instead of perching up high to look for insects, the cactus wren seeks its food on the ground by turning over leaves and small rocks. Cactus wrens have been known to build several nests that they never intend to use. The theory is that the birds do this as a means to provide cover for their real nests. The reference for the pattern and painting notes were provided by the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

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