South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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House Wren

Troglodytes aedon

Length: 4 3/4 inches Wingspan: 6 1/2 inches Seasonality: Summer
ID Keys: Plain wren with faint eyebrow and eye-ring, brown overall, black barring on wings and tail

House Wren - Troglodytes aedonA common hyperactive midget found throughout the state.  A very aggressive courtship and nesting ritual involves the male building numerous "dummy" nests in any available cavity (nest boxes, trees, buildings, fences, etc).  The female selects one of these, and the male completes that nest.  House Wrens will also aggressively chase other species from potential nesting sites, even going so far to destroy their eggs and kill their young.

Habitat: Prefers semi-open habitats including residential areas, parks, forest clearings and edges, farmstead groves, and brushy thickets. 

Diet: Mostly insects, some snails.

Behavior: Very active forager, moving quickly through primarily lower levels of trees and shrubs, but may also forage at upper levels.  Will also forage on the ground.

Nesting: May through August

Breeding Map: Breeding bird survey map

Song: House Wren Song

Migration: Summers through much of the U.S. and southern Canada.  Winters in the extreme southern U.S. and points south.

Similar Species: Winter Wren, Rock Wren

Conservation Status: Widespread and common, numbers appear to be stable.

Birdhouses: Will nest in manmade nest boxes and houses.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, House Wren

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

3) House Wren

Photo Information: July 9th, 2006 - Minnehaha County - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution House Wren photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
House Wren - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Widespread and common