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Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-29 8:18
Viewed: 3568
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cactus Wren

Largest wren in United States; 7-9 inches long. Both sexes with dull, rusty crown, streaked back, heavily spotted breast, tawny-colored sides and belly; wing and tail feathers barred black and white (showing a white tail band in flight); conspicuous broad white stripe over eye. No differences between breeding and nonbreeding plumage. The tail is not usually held cocked as in most other wrens. Juveniles resemble adults but have lighter, smaller chest spots and shorter tails. The song is a low raspy cha cha cha cha cha, very reminiscent of a car's engine trying to turn over on a cold winter day.

Desert areas with taller cacti (especially cholla), or arid hillsides and valleys with other thorny plants capable of supporting their bulky nests. The cactus wren is abundant below 4,000 feet in Arizona, but has been found up to 6,000 feet in New Mexico.

The cactus wren is an active, inquisitive, and adaptable bird found commonly in most Arizona deserts, making it an appropriate choice for the state bird. The female selects the nest site; the nest is often placed in cholla, but also in other cacti and thorny trees and shrubs such as mesquite, ironwood, paloverde, and catclaw acacia. Both the male and female build the nest.

The cactus wren's nest is a large, conspicuous, spherical structure usually built with dry grasses and annual plants; strips of discarded paper and cloth found along roadsides are frequently woven in. A long, narrow-sided passage into an internal chamber, as well as the thorny substrate, protects this nest from most predators, although eggs and nestlings are frequently taken by coachwhips and whipsnakes in Arizona. As with most wren nests, the nest chamber is usually lined with feathers. In Arizona, Gambel's quail feathers seem to make up the bulk of the lining (a related species, the masked bobwhite, was once thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in Sonora, Mexico, a few decades ago after biologists found its feathers in cactus wren nests and began searching for it). The female cactus wren incubates, starting with the first egg, while the male builds a new nest in preparation for a second clutch. Additional nest structures are constructed and used as roosts throughout the year. The roost nests often lack the feather lining.

Arizona Game and Fish

eqshannon, Luis52, CeltickRanger, ellis49, zulfu, Necipp, marhowie, boreocypriensis, gracious, Adanac, fartash, maurydv, haraprasan, Silvio2006, NinaM, izler, ramthakur, warnzy, bahadir, nkasot, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-03-29 8:21]

Hi Jane. A good close up of the Wren. You have captured nice pose in the tree with the deep blue sky. It has some nice markings which you have captured with fine detail ans natural colour. well done tFS, Good notes too.

ah yes your images are indeed bumped up...You study well before you do things yes? And decisions are always best when left to the decider..and I don't mean GWB:-) Very nice image and well seen Jane.
Nice image neighbor!

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-03-29 8:40]

Hi Jane.
Iam glad to see this beautiful photo (We are neighbour this time) Of this Cactus Wren. I like his colors and the pose. Well framed and excellent BG.

hello Jane

i love very much your image, fine POV and vertical framing,
i love this Wren's pose with the Arizonian wonderful blue sky,
great luminosity of the image with excellent sharpness & details, TFS


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-29 9:02]

Hi Jane,
This little Wren is so beautiful in its speckled plumage. I like its pose and your composition is excellent. Good focus on the eye and fine details and colours. Well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

Hi Jane,
this is a well composed picture with pretty good sharpness, fine details and lovely colours.
I like the pose of the bird too.
Well done.

Well composed and good pose. The cactus wren is one of my favorite birds of all time.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-29 9:14]

Hello Jane,
Wonderful shot of this beauty with excellent details, sharpness and lighting. Nice composition too. TFS. Regards,

Hello Jane,

These little guys are so noisy, very nice capture and composition
..Well done


Hello Jane nice pose captured w/ nice blue bg. Good contrasty light and its very well composed. tfs rgds Necip

Hi Hilary,
Clear details and good exposure mf.
I like most of all you POV here, and the birds pose :)
Good work,

Hello Jane,
Very good lighting on the Wren with a fine pose of him that also against a beautiful blue sky!
very sharp with good colour and details
well done always

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-29 13:48]

Hi Jane,
I see green, blue and brown. Great colors Jane, as Lucy and I are caught in a blizzard courteous of BOB, and white is about all we are seeing today and it's Lucys birthday. Another splendid image with great details also. Thanks for the image and great notes my friend.

Hi Jane

Exellent shot of this lovely big wren.
Good POV and pose. Well composed with good sharpness.


Hello Jane
Excellent shot of this tiny Cactus Wren,
Perfect focusing,colors and POV,Welldone my friend.


Bellissima immagine, ottima composizione con i rami intrecciati e le foglie che entrano in scena, molto buoni i dettagli e molto belli i colori e il tuo solito bellissimo cielo. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-29 14:48]

Woow what a superb shot Jane!
I can definately see an improvement in quality since you got that S5 IS! The image is very sharp and full of detail.
I really like the composition.
That blue BG is fab!
Very well done!
I'm glad your getting on with your new camera so well!
Cheers Jane,


hi Jane,

Good capture from this bird.
Beautiful blu sky BG with also great natural colors.

Regards Gert

Hi Jane,
Nice to see you as well! Another splendid shot of a lovely bird, Cactus wren with excellent detsils, lighting and framing friend. TFS. Have a nice weekend!

Hi Jane,
A lovely capture of this beautiful wren bird. Excellent details and a fine composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-30 3:47]

Hello Jane,
Superb photo of this Cactus Wren. Excellent clear colours, the BG is very beautiful. Very good sharpness, focus on the eye and pose of the bird.

Once again great detail and wonderful color. That blue blue blue sky is such an amazing backdrop. WOW! Excellent work!

Hi Jane, lovely bird in nice pose with splendid colors, great details and good focus, wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-30 10:09]

Hello Jane, well done again on this great Cactus Wren shot! Perfect pose, great composition, very good sharpness and great sky as always, good job! Thanks,


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-03-30 13:32]

You capture so many beautiful birds, it's incredible. Your pictures ar similar to Luis52's pictures because of the southern light, such a strong sunshine! It makes the sky bluer than blue, I have never seen such a sky here. And this little bird with its polka dots feathers is adorable. Thank you Jane, this is very nice,


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-03-30 14:25]

hello jane
good capture of this cute species that was giving nice pose to you
i like composition, POV, colours, details and informative note

Your blue sky has by now turned legendry, Jane. The little Wren looks so handsome against this wonderful background.
Nice POV and exquisite details.
TFS and regards.

Hi Jane,

A very vibrant shot with a classic pose from the bird and perfect composition as usual. You have a good feel for composition and your shots always look right.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-31 21:06]

Hello Jane

Super eye contact.
The colours are bright.
Well focused with sharp detail.


Hi Jane,
Very beautiful capture with excellent details. TFS.


Hi Jane,
Wonderful capture of this beautiful bird in a lovely posture. Your capture is excellent in all respects. TFS.
Greetings from N Cyprus,

Hello Jane. Excellent tact sharp focus on this bird in beautiful head turn perch. The exposure is stunning against the spotless blue sky. I like the perspective and thanks for sharing. Have a nice day. Jusni

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