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Winter Wren


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Small in stature and incomparably energetic in voice, the Winter Wren inhabits moist forests and other habitats across much of eastern North America. They were formerly considered one species that occupied northern forests across the globe. But in 2010, on the basis of vocalizations and genetics, they were split into three species, including the Pacific Wren of western North America and the Eurasian Wren in the Old World.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Very small, dark bird.
  • Short tail, usually cocked upward.
  • Uniform dark brown plumage overall.
  • Thin, pointed bill.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but darker.

Range Map Help

Winter Wren Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp


    Winter Wren

    • Tiny, stub-tailed wren
    • Very compact and stocky
    • Skulks secretively through dense underbrush in dark, wet forested areas
    • Dark barring on belly
    • © Bill Thompson, South Athol , Massachusetts, October 2011

    Winter Wren

    • Very small and stocky with stubby tail usually sticking up at angle
    • Small, thin bill
    • Pale eyebrow not always obvious
    • Dark barring on belly
    • © Dwayne Java, Holiday Beach, Ontario, Canada, October 2010

    Winter Wren

    • Tiny, compact wren
    • Dark brown overall with dark barring on belly
    • Difficult to see as it skulks through low, dense brush in woodland areas
    • Stubby tail usually sticking up above the back
    • © Bill Thompson, South Athol, Massachusetts, October 2011

Similar Species


    House Wren

    • Paler and more elongated than Winter Wren
    • Longer bill and tail
    • Pale throat and breast
    • No barring on belly
    • © Bill Thompson, Hadley, Massachusetts, June 2012

Similar Species

  • House Wren has a longer tail and lighter color, especially on the throat and breast, and the barring on its flanks does not extend forward of the legs.

    You Might Also Like

    Winter Wren Wraparound. Story in Living Bird magazine.

    eBird Occurrence Maps, Winter Wren



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