South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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Bewick's Wren

Thryomanes bewickii

Length: 5.25 inches Wingspan: 7.25 inches Seasonality: Rare Visitor
ID Keys: White eye stripe, dark barring on tail, brownish-gray upperparts with white underparts

Bewick's Wren - Thryomanes bewickiiBewick's Wrens are a very tame wren of the southern and western United States. The species used to be much more common in the eastern United States, but it has disappeared from much of its former range there, for unknown reasons.  The Bewick's Wren generally migrates very short distances, if at all, and is normally found well south and west of South Dakota.  At the printing of the South Dakota Ornithologist Union's 2002 book, "The Birds of South Dakota", only one specimen had been recorded in the state.  The photo to the right is of a Nevada bird.

Habitat: Brushy habitat, including understory of woodlands, hedgerows, riparian areas, residential areas. 

Diet: Mostly insects.  Occasionally it will forage on seeds and berries.

Behavior: Very active foraging, either by clambering and flitting through foliage and vegetation, or by hopping and running along the ground.

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota.

Song: Bewick's Wren Song

Migration: Year-round resident of much of the southern and western United States, with some migrating slightly northward in the spring.

Similar Species: Carolina Wren, Marsh Wren

Birdhouses:  Will use nest boxes (not in South Dakota).

Conservation Status: Has been in steep decline in the eastern part of the United States.  Still widespread and common in the West.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Bewick's Wren

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - Bewick's Wren"

3) eNature.com: Bewick's Wren

Photo Information: February 1st, 2002 -- Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada -- Terry Sohl

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Bewick's Wren - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Accidental visitor.  The SDOU's "Birds of South Dakota" (2002) only lists one record in the state, a bird in Minnehaha County in 1951.
 

Additional Bewick's Wren Photos (coming soon!)