Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)


[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Chamaea fasciata | [UK] Wrentit | [FR] Cama brune | [DE] Chaparraltimalie | [ES] Camea | [NL] Winterkoningmees


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Conostoma fasciata
Chamaea fasciata NA Oregon, California
Chamaea fasciata fasciata
Chamaea fasciata henshawi
Chamaea fasciata margra
Chamaea fasciata phaea
Chamaea fasciata rufula

Physical charateristics

Far more often heard than seen. The long, rounded, slightly cocked tail and obscurely streaked breast help identify this small, drab bird, which can be seen as it slips through the brush. Eye white.
Behavior wrenlike. Southern birds are grayer, northern ones browner.

Listen to the sound of Wrentit


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 17 cm wingspan max.: 18 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 15 days fledging max.: 22 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 6  


North America : Oregon, California


Chaparral, brush, parks, garden shrubs.
Within its range, the Wrentit inhabits most kinds of dense low growth. Most common in chaparral, thickets of poison oak, and coastal sage scrub; also lives in streamside thickets and in shrubby areas in suburbs and city parks. Extends very locally to edg
e of desert.


May mate for life. Pairs remain together on nesting territory at all seasons.
Nest: Well hidden by foliage in a dense low shrub, usually 1-
4′ above the ground, rarely above 10′ in small tree. Firmly lashed into place, attached to clusters of twigs or built in fork of branch. Nest (built by both sexes) is a neatly constructed, compact cu
p, typically made of strips of bark and spider webs, lined with fine plant fibers and sometimes animal hair. Outside of nest may be decorated with bits of lichen.
Eggs: 4, sometimes 3-5. Pale greenish blue, unmarked. Incubation is by both parents, about 16 days. Female reportedly incubates at night, both sexes taking turns during the day.
Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave the nest about 15-16 days after hatching, are tended by parents for another 2-3 weeks.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and berries.
Feeds heavily on insects, especially in spring and summer, including ants, small wasps, caterpillars, beetles, scale insects, leafhoppers, and others, plus spiders. Eats many berries, especially in fall and winter, including those of poison oak. Sometime
s comes to feeders for bread crumbs, or takes sugar-water from hummingbird feeders.
Behavior: Forages actively in dense low growth, gleaning insects from twigs, sometimes hanging upside down to examine foliage. Sometimes hovers briefly while taking an item.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Wrentit status Least Concern


Oregon to northern Baja California.
b Migration: Permanent resident and very sedentary, seldom wandering away from breeding areas; rarely, a few may wander to higher elevations in late summer.

Distribution map

Wrentit distribution range map

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