|Conservation status||Has declined in some areas with increasing development of coastal regions. Still fairly widespread and common.|
|Habitat||Chaparral, brush, parks, garden shrubs. Within its range, the Wrentit inhabits most kinds of dense low growth. Most common in chaparral, thickets of poison oak, and coastal sage scrub; also lives in streamside thickets and in shrubby areas in suburbs and city parks. Extends very locally to edge of desert.|
Forages actively in dense low growth, gleaning insects from twigs, sometimes hanging upside down to examine foliage. Sometimes hovers briefly while taking an item. Will hold a large insect with one foot while breaking off the wings.
4, sometimes 3-5. Pale greenish blue, unmarked. Incubation is by both parents, about 16 days. Female reportedly incubates at night, both sexes taking turns during the day. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest about 15-16 days after hatching, are tended by parents for another 2-3 weeks.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave the nest about 15-16 days after hatching, are tended by parents for another 2-3 weeks.
Mostly insects and berries. Feeds heavily on insects, especially in spring and summer, including ants, small wasps, caterpillars, beetles, scale insects, leafhoppers, and others, plus spiders. Eats many berries, especially in fall and winter, including those of poison oak. Will come to bird feeders for bread crumbs or other soft items, and takes sugar-water from hummingbird feeders.
May mate for life. Pairs remain together on nesting territory at all seasons. Nest: Well hidden by foliage in a dense low shrub, usually 1-4' above the ground, rarely above 10' in small tree. Firmly lashed into place, attached to clusters of twigs or built in fork of branch. Nest (built by both sexes) is a neatly constructed, compact cup, typically made of strips of bark and spiderwebs, lined with fine plant fibers and sometimes animal hair. Outside of nest may be decorated with bits of lichen.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Permanent resident and very sedentary, seldom wandering away from breeding areas; rarely a few may wander to higher elevations in late summer.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for over 450 bird species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsAn accelerating series of musical notes running together into a trill and dropping slightly in pitch toward the end: peep peep peep-pee-pee-peepeepepeprrrr. Call is a prolonged dry "growling" note. This species is far more often heard than seen.
Learn more about this sound collection.