SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chamaea fasciata


The Wrentit is a small bird with fairly large, round head and short rounded wings giving them an overall plump appearance. It has long legs and long tails. Its colors vary from reddish-brown in northern populations, to grayer in southern birds.

Adults measure about 5.5 - 5.9 inches in length, with a wingspan of 6.7 - 7.1 inches and weight of 13 - 16 grams.

Their plumage shows loose texture and varies from dull olive, olive-brown, dark ruddy-brown to pale brown. Usually, darker upperparts contrast with paler underparts.

Throat and breast may be slightly streaked. Wings are short and rounded. Long, rounded tail is very often cocked. Sides of head and neck are sometimes paler or browner, or both, than rest of upperparts.

There is a faint blackish supercilium contrasting with face and crown. Horn colored bill is short and slightly curved. Eyes are cream-colored. Legs and feet are dark grey.

Both sexes are similar, and have nearly identical plumage year-round.

CALL: A churring call which sounds similar to someone rolling their r's. They give a louder more emphatic call when scolding a predator or intruder.

SONG: Male sings year-round, and this species is usually heard before seen. Male utters loud song, starting with a series of accelerating notes, and runs into descending trill “pit-pit- pit-tr-r-r-r”. Its short, fast, vibrant song is similar to the sound of a bouncing ping pong ball.

Feeds mainly on insects and spiders, but it also eats berries, small fruits and seeds.

Lives in chaparral and brushy areas in forests, and coastal sage scrub, suburban parks and large gardens.

It is resident year-round from sea level to 2,300 meters of elevation.

Limited to West Coast of North America and mountains, from northern Oregon to Baja California.

Both the male and female build a cup- shaped nest, made with grasses and bark strips held together with spider web and silk. It is lined with soft plant matter or grass.

They often decorate the outside with lichens to camouflage the nest. It is located in a fork of coastal sage or coyote brush, and may reuse old nest materials.

The female lays 3 - 5 whitish blue or green eggs during summer months. Incubation lasts about 15 to 16 days, shared by both parents.



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