• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Pacific Wren


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Pacific Wrens are tiny brown wrens with a song much larger than themselves. One researcher deemed them a “pinnacle of song complexity.” This tinkling, bubbly songster is more often heard than seen within the dark understory of old-growth evergreen forests where they live. When Pacific Wrens sing they hold their tail upright and their entire body shakes with sound. They move like mice through the forest understory, hopping along logs and upturned roots.


Their song is a sweet series of tumbling, trilling notes with a staccato quality. Pacific Wrens have a large catalog of complex songs. Males sing for 5 to 10 seconds, stringing together as many as 50 different phrases. They sing regularly during the breeding season from mid-April to August but irregularly during the nonbreeding season.


Male and female Pacific Wrens give one sharp check call similar to the call of a Wilson’s Warbler.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

If you live within their breeding range, you may be able to attract one to your yard by installing a nest box. Be sure to have the nest box ready before the breeding season begins complete with a predator guard. Find plans to build your own nest box at NestWatch.

Landscaping with native plants can also attract Pacific Wrens. Maintaining areas with dense vegetation and brush piles can provide foraging and maybe even nesting opportunities. Learn more about landscaping with native plants at Habitat Network.

Find This Bird

Pacific Wrens are very vocal so listen for their rapid series of tumbling and trilling notes in old-growth forests in the West. When you hear their sweet song, patiently look in the understory for mouselike movements along decaying logs and in upturned roots. Early mornings during the breeding season are best times to find them perched in the open shaking as they sing.

Get Involved

Count the number of Pacific Wrens you see in your yard during the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Look for Pacific Wren nests and contribute valuable data about them through NestWatch and eBird.

You Might Also Like

The Winter Wren’s Wraparound Range Map. Story in Living Bird, Summer 2009.

eBird Occurrence Maps Pacific/Winter Wren



Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.