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Carolina Wren

Carolina wren; Isaac Sanchez/Flickr
Isaac Sanchez/Flickr



This species is slightly smaller than a sparrow. The head, back, wings and tail are a reddish-brown color, and the breast and belly are a buffy cinnamon. The bill is thin and fairly long. There is a prominent white or cinnamon stripe above each eye. The tail is short and often held upright when the bird is perched. Fine black bars are often visible on the tail and wing feathers. Carolina wrens are very similar in appearance to the Bewick’s wren, which has a medium-brown head, back and wings and a light gray-to-white chest and belly. The tail is also longer and tipped with a white spot.


Approximately 4.7-5.5 inches in length. 11.4 inch wingspan.


Carolina wrens can be found throughout the year in the eastern two-thirds of the state. They inhabit forests, oak woodlands and riparian habitat and are fairly common in residential neighborhoods with mature trees and shrubs.

Life History

At feeders, Carolina wrens eat suet, miracle meal, shelled black-oil sunflower seeds and chopped apples. Away from feeders, they actively forage for spiders, insects and poison ivy berries.

Wildlife Watching Tips

These birds are usually seen in pairs or individually. They forage close to the ground in shrubbery and leaf litter. Carolina wrens will visit suet feeders and platform feeders near the ground and heavy cover.

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