South Carolina State Bird

South Carolina State Bird: Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus

South Carolina State Bird Description:

  • Size: 5 to 6 inches (12 - 14 cm)
  • Wingspan: 11 inches (29 cm)
  • Weight: .64 to .78 ounces (18 - 22 g)

The Carolina Wren is a small, fluffy songbird. It is rust colored on top and buff below. The tail and wings are rust brown with white barring on the tail and some speckling on the wings. There is a white eye stripe above each eye. The bill is dark, slender and slightly down-curved.

Sexes look alike with the male being slightly larger than the female.

Habitat:

The Carolina Wren adapts well to many types of habitats including; forests, swamps, farms and residential areas.

Range:

Carolina Wrens are commonly found in the southeastern United States. They range as far north as southeastern Ontario, Canada, and as far west as eastern Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. Their southern range extends to the northeastern corner of Mexico and parts of Central America.

They are found as far north as the Great Lakes when warm winters spur them to extend their range northward. However, when colder years arrive, many northern birds are unable to survive and the population declines along the northern edges of the range.

Diet:

Carolina Wrens forage on the ground hopping around while looking for food. They feed mainly on insects and spiders. They rarely eat seeds.

Nesting:

Carolina Wrens may choose mates as early as the fall of their hatch year. Once bonded, a pair remains together for life.

The male begins constructing several nests within a territory that is vigorously defended. The female chooses the one she prefers. Once the location is chosen, the female helps the male finish the nest.

The nests are dome-shaped with a side entrance. They are made from bark strips, dried grasses, dead leaves, sticks, pine needles, mosses, feathers, straw, shed snakeskin, paper, and string. They are then lined with hair or fur.

Nests are usually built in enclosed, protected areas such as natural tree cavities, abandoned woodpecker holes, densely tangled vines or upturned tree roots. It is common to find nests in less conspicuous places like hanging flower baskets and mailboxes. It is possible to attract Carolina Wrens to nest in a nest box. Nests are seldom found more than 12 feet above the ground.

The clutch size is usually 3 to 7 eggs and incubation takes 12 to 16 days.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the South Carolina State Bird:

  • The Carolina Wren is a loud, active singer. It is considered to be the loudest singer for its size. A captive male was recorded singing more than 300 times in a single day.
  • Unlike many other wrens, only the male sings.
  • Carolina Wrens in the southern regions can raise as many as three broods per year.

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