South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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Carolina Wren

Thryothorus ludovicianus

Length: 5.5 inches Wingspan: 7.75 inches Seasonality: All Seasons
ID Keys: Richly colored compared to most wrens, chestnut above, butterscotch below, bold white eyebrow

Carolina Wren - Thryothorus ludovicianusSouth Dakota marks the northernmost fringes of the Carolina Wren's normal range.  Populations at the northern end of this range tend to fluctuate with the severity of the winters.  They are the largest of the wrens normally found in the eastern United States, and tend to be much more richly colored than other wrens.  They tend to live in pairs year-round, and the male and female may sing "duets" at any time of the year.

Habitat: Generally found in brush and undergrowth, including undergrowth of deciduous and mixed forests, forest edges, tree lines, and residential areas.

Diet: Feeds primarily on insects and spiders.  Will also feed on snails, fruits and berries, some seeds, and even small lizards and frogs. 

Behavior: Very active forager, climbing and flitting through foliage and branches.  Often forages in pairs, even outside of the breeding season.

Breeding: No confirmed breeding in South Dakota

Song: Carolina Wren Song, also Carolina Wren Call

Migration: Generally a permanent resident throughout its normal range.  Small numbers may wander in the fall, especially juveniles.

Similar Species: Bewick's Wren (extremely rare in South Dakota), Marsh Wren

Feeders: Will attend feeders for suet and peanut butter

Conservation Status: Numbers are generally stable.  However, numbers at the northern end of their range rise and fall in conjunction with the harshness of the winter season. 

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter -- Carolina Wren

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

3) eNature.com: Carolina Wren

Photo Information: April 3rd, 2003 -- Lake Martin, Louisiana -- Ronnie Gaubert

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Carolina Wren - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Casual visitor in the southeastern portion of the state, accidental elsewhere.
 

Additional Carolina Wren Photos (coming soon!)