The sweet, warbling voice of the Winter Wren serenades forests of spruce and fir. The song of the Winter Wren is distinguished by its melodious, bubbly tone and its uninterrupted length. The length of the song alone facilitates identification, because it eliminates all other forest songsters. When not singing, the Winter Wren can be observed in woodlands, skulking beneath the dense understorey. Troglodytes is Greek for 'creeping in holes' or 'cave dweller.' This bird's common name may refer to the fact that a few winter in the northern U.S. The Winter Wren also breeds across Europe and Asia.
I.D.: Sexes similar: very short, 'cocked up' tail; dark brown upperparts; light brown underparts; fine, light eyebrow; dark barring on the flanks.
Size: L 4 in. (10 cm).
Range: locally common breeder and migrant in the Canadian and northern U.S. Rockies; rare migrant in the Rockies south of Montana.
Habitat: subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce forests with dense understoreys, often near water, in the subalpine.
Nesting: in an abandoned woodpecker cavity, in a natural hole, under bark or under upturned tree roots; bulky nest is made with twigs, moss, grass and fur; male frequently builds up to 4 'dummy' nests prior to egg-laying; female incubates 6-7 eggs for up to 16 days.
Feeding: forages on the ground and on
trees for beetles, wood borers and other invertebrates.
Voice: Male: song is a tumbling warble of quick notes, often more than 8 seconds long.
Similar Species: House Wren: tail is longer than the leg; less barring on the flanks. Bewick's Wren: long tail; long, white eyebrow.