CAROLINA WREN(Thryotorus ludovicianus) (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Carolina Wren is medium brown on top with few lighter markings, as opposed to other wrens. There is a whitish eyebrow. The throat is white, and the under parts are beige. The thin bill is grey, and the legs are pinkish grey. Both sexes are similar. This bird is about 13 cm (5 inches) long.
VOICE: – This wren has a fairly loud song for such a small bird.
NAME: The English name ‘Carolina’ is associated with the bird’s habitat, and ‘Wren’ is from Old English. The Latin genus name ‘Thryotorus’ means a ‘reed jumper’, and the species name ‘ludovicianus’ refers to Louisiana, which is part of its habitat.
HABITAT: Moist shrubby habitat, sometimes near suburban areas.
DIET: Carolina wrens forage on the ground and in thick foliage for insects and arthropods. Also feed on seeds and berries, and are attracted to bird feeders.
NESTING: Carolina wrens mate for life, and both parents build the nest, which is located in a cavity, natural (trunk crevices, woodpecker holes) or man-made (nest boxes). Between three and six creamy eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks are fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: This wren is expanding its breeding range northward and has been found in the Maritimes (except PEI). Its overall breeding range includes the eastern half of the USA, with the south of Ontario and parts of Mexico. It is usually a year-round resident, which means that its expansion northward is thwarted during harsh Canadian winters.
ON PEI: The Carolina wren does not breed on Prince Edward Island and this bird has only been sighted as ‘accidental’ so far on the island. (See note below on bird vagrancy.)
CONSERVATION: The population of the Carolina wren has increased over the last few decades. Its preference for moist fragmented and reforested areas helps that species, as well as the fact that it adapted well to the human presence. It is therefore not at risk at the present time.
NOTES: As with other wren species, this one will hold its tail cocked up at times, thus making it easier to identify.
The Carolina wren is the state bird of South Carolina.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
REFERENCES: (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas) (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Carolina Wren – Clear Lake, Houston, TX – Mar. 11, 2011 – Dan Pancamo
Carolina wren, TX, by Dan Pancamo
Carolina Wren – Grayton State Park, FL – Mar. 30, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Carolina wren, by Roberta Palmer