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What in Tarnation?? A Cactus Wren!

If you've ever spent time in the American South West, chances are you've heard this bird's unique call.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) Photo by Biko Binder

Deep in the Catalina desert of Arizona we heard our first Cactus Wren and thought what thaaaaa... ? 🧐

Luckily we had our handy-dandy Merlin Bird App and solved the mystery by using the 'Sound ID' feature! *PSA: This is not a paid advertisement but we would gladly accept any form of payment @TheCornellLab 🙃 we love you 🐦*

See us Easterners... Well we're used to hearing our Carolina Wrens back in North Carolina, but the Arizona state bird sounds much different.

Cactus wrens are commonly found in the Southwestern region of the United States and down into Mexico. To survive the harsh climate these birds have adapted to low water supply and have become very creative hunters - they even know to check the front fenders of cars for splattered insects! Quite the buffet I'm sure...

So this begs the question: What makes a 'Wren' a 'Wren' ?

Well according to Wikipedia, Wren's of all species are identified as passerines. The term passerine refers to a bird that falls under the order Passeriformes which identifies them as perching birds due to their toe arrangement that enables them to perch on branches, wires, etc.

Fun fact: More than half of all birds are actually Passerines. Pretty cool!

In addition to perching, Wrens of all species also share a similar shape & size, speckled coloring, and hunting habits. It was the least we could do to learn all about these birds while we made ourselves at home in their natural environment. Thanks neighbors! Until next time 👋



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