7 Types of Wrens in Ohio

Hello there! In this article, I’ll be discussing the seven different types of wrens that can be found in Ohio.

If you’re interested in learning more about these small, energetic birds and their unique characteristics, then this is the article for you.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just curious about the wildlife in your area, read on to discover the fascinating world of wrens in Ohio.

Carolina WrenCarolina Wren
Winter WrenWinter Wren
Marsh WrenMarsh Wren
House WrenHouse Wren
Sedge WrenSedge Wren
Rock WrenRock Wren
Bewick's WrenBewick's Wren

Types of Wrens in Ohio

1. Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren is a tiny, stocky bird having a long tail, a reddish-brown top side, a shiny underside, a white forehead and neck, a black beak, and dark banding on the tail and wings. 

There is a vast variety of sounds and songs produced by this species, though the most common are a pair of teakkettle-teakkettle or germmany-germmany notes.

The nesting sites of the Carolina Wren are holes in trees, tree stumps, and overhangs.

This species has been seen to make ground nests in dense foliage on rare occasions. 

Throughout urban and suburban environments, these wrens might make use of man-made things like mailboxes and plant pots.

The nest is often cup-shaped and dome-shaped, with an entry on the side.

Pieces of bark, plumage, dried grasses, dried leaves, pine needles, newspaper, straw, and so on all go into the construction of this nest.

The average clutch size for a female is four to eight eggs. 

The incubation period ranges from twelve to sixteen days, and the resulting offspring is a white or cream color with rusty-brown markings.

The chicks have between 12 and 18 days to mature after hatching.

Insects and spiders, such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets, cockroaches, moths, and beetles, comprise the bulk of a Carolina Wren’s diet.

Snakes, lizards, frogs, and even plant matter like fruit pulp, and seed may make up part of their diet.

While present, the Carolina Wren is a frequent sight everywhere birds go.

Recent decades have seen steady growth in the population, which is now thought to number about 19 million breeding adults.

Warmer winters have allowed this species to move northward.

Reforestation and woodland fragmentation, which provide optimal habitats for them, might be beneficial. 

When food is scarce in the winter, garden feeders are a great way to assist these birds in surviving, particularly in the northern parts of their range.

Bottomland forests, well-wooded urban and suburban areas, lowland cypress marshes, ravines, brushy thickets, well-vegetated gardens, overgrown farms, and abandoned structures are all places you could find a Carolina Wren.

This species is widespread and frequent across the state at all times of the year.

Headlands Beach State Parks, Magee Marshes Wildlife Area, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Areas, Metzger Marshes Wildlife Area, and the Cleveland Lakefront Wildlife Sanctuary are among the best places to visit.

2. Winter Wren

Winter Wren

Little and chubby with a short tail, that’s the Winter Wren.

Barring may be seen on the tail, wings, and abdomen, but otherwise, the feathers are a uniform brown.

Bill is black and skinny, and the underside is lighter than the top. 

Tan may be seen on the top, the stripe across the eyebrows, the neck, and the abdomen.

The bouncy song of this species lasts for about 5 to 10 seconds.

The nests of Winter Wrens are either domed and round or carved out of tree stumps.

Under creek banks, rotting logs, under the roots of overturned trees, dead trees, or hanging moss are common places for the nest to be constructed. 

The grass, moss, rootlets, twigs, and bark used to construct the nest are all natural.

They line the nest with plumage and animal fur.

Each clutch might include anything from two eggs to eight.

There are a lot of reddish-brown dots on the white eggs. 

The eggs are incubated for 13 to 17 days, and the fledglings need another 14 to 17 days to reach maturity before they emerge from the nest.

Besides berries, spiders, and millipedes, the Winter Wren eats insects, including caterpillars, beetles, ants, mites, and flies.

Throughout their range, Winter Wrens are a widespread bird.

There has been no significant change in the population, which is thought to number about 11 million mature adults.

This species is in jeopardy due to logging methods and forest division that reduce the availability of habitat and breeding sites in the old-growth and old woodlands that it prefers.

The Winter Wren lives in both deciduous and evergreen woods, such as those with fir, spruce, and hemlock. Backyards, deep woodlands, meadows with thick brush, and deciduous forests are all common places to find them.

This is a migratory species with a limited resident population.

These wrens are present throughout the year across Ohio, with the winter months being when there is the greatest concentration of individuals.

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Headlands Beach State Parks, Metzger Marshes Wildlife Area, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Areas, Sheldon Marshes State Nature Preserve, and others around the state are all great places to see them.

3. Marsh Wren

Marsh-bred Wren
Credits – Wikipedia

The Marsh Wren is a small, stocky bird with a short tail and a thin beak.

The top sections of the plumage are a reddish brown, while the back is streaked with white and black.

The tail and wings have a smoky bar pattern. 

The neck and the chest are white.

The shoulder blades are unblemished, and the eyebrow is untanned.

This wren’s typical song consists of buzzing trills and gurgling.

The nests of Marsh Wrens are often constructed in dense stands of bulrushes and cattails.

The sedge, grass, and cattail threads form a dome-shaped nest.

There is a cup at the bottom of the nest and a hole at the top.

Feathers, cattail down, grass, sedges, or rootlets are used as lining.

The average clutch size for a female is three to ten eggs.

The brown eggs have black spots. It takes around a month to two months for the eggs to hatch after being laid.

The average time spent in the nest by a baby bird is 15 to 17 days.

The Marsh Wren’s diet consists mostly of insects and spiders like mosquitoes and damselflies.

The Marsh Wren is a common bird wherever it is found.

Since 1966, there has been a 130% growth in the worldwide population, which is now believed to number over 9.4 million breeding individuals.

The draining and filling of wetlands and salt marshes are hazardous to this species.

The Marsh Wren inhabits wetlands rich in vegetation, such as those that have bulrushes, sedges, cordgrass, Phragmites, and cattails.

During the colder months, you may see them in the thickets that surround agricultural canals, wetland areas, and tidal salt marshes.

Although it is generally a migratory species, this animal may be seen year-round in a few places.

Summer is when this species is most common in the state, although fall and spring migration bring them from further south and north. Some people do stay put all year. 

Many parks and reserves provide excellent opportunities to see them, including Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Metzger Marshes Wildlife Reserve, Sheldon Marshes State Nature Preserve, Killdeer Plains Wildlife Areas, and Fernald Preserve.

4. House Wren

House Wren

The House Wren is a little bird with a stubby tail and a large, hooked beak.

Barring appears on the tail and wings of the brown upperside.

The underbelly is light and neatly banded, while the neck is white. 

The line between the eyebrows is unclear.

There are several different noises made by this species, such as a jiggly, bouncy song full of scolds and churrs. 

Nesting locations for house wrens may be anything from a little hole in a tree to a man-made nesting box.

Sticks and twigs are heaped within the hole to make a cup-shaped nest. 

Grass, plumage, snakeskin, animal fur, spider egg sacs, thread, plastic, and plastic bags are used for the covering.

Every clutch contains anything from three to 10 eggs laid by the female.

The eggs range in color from white to gray, with spots or blotches of a reddish-brown hue. 

After laying, the eggs need between Nine and Sixteen days in the incubator to hatch.

Young birds mature and emerge from the nest after a period of 14 to 17 days.

Insects and spiders make up the majority of the House Wren’s diet.

Daddy’s long legs, caterpillars, caterpillars, flies, leafhoppers, and earwigs are among the prey.

It’s not uncommon to eat a snail shell for a snack.

House Wrens possess a huge range and are ubiquitous across it, although various regions have seen fluctuating numbers over the years. 

Although the population has decreased in certain areas during the last 50 years, in the vast majority of places, it has stayed about the same or even grown by a small percentage.

It is estimated that there are 190 million mating birds in the world.

This species faces threats from both collisions and the removal of their natural habitat, as well as from the use of pesticides.

The House Wren may be found in a wide variety of locales, including aspen groves, farmland, buildings, gardens, and built areas across suburban and urban settings, as well as southern wetlands, deciduous woods, western coniferous woodlands, and more.

In the summertime, this species becomes the most frequent wren in Ohio, while it is migratory across many of the United States. 

You may increase your chances of seeing this bird by visiting the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Park, CleMagee Marshes Wildlife Areas, Wetland Lakefront Wildlife Reserve, Metzger Marsh Wildlife Region, or Oak Openings Preserve Metropark.

5. Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren
Credits – Wikipedia

The Sedge Wren is a little bird with a rounded body, a small tail, and a bent beak.

The tops are dark with many white streaks.

Banding may be seen on the tail and the wings. 

The flanks and abdomen are pink, while the rest of the underbelly is a pale white.

There are brown streaks on the head, and the eyebrows are a pale shade of brown.

This wren’s song is characterized by squeaky, high sounds and a trill.

The Sedge Wren builds its nests, which are spheres with an entry hole on one side, on the grass, or in thick foliage (primarily sedges).

Strips of sedges and weeds are used in the construction and design of the nest. 

Afterward, grasses, fur, and plumage are used to line the nest.

The average clutch size for a female is four to nine eggs.

Incubation of the white eggs takes about 15 to 19 days.

It takes the young birds about a week and a half to mature into full-fledged adults before they emerge from their nest.

Weevils, grasshoppers, locusts, ants, beetles, caterpillars, and crickets are just some of the spiders and insects that make up the Sedge Wren’s diet.

They also eat a tiny amount of seeds.

There are very few records of the Sedge Wren anywhere in the world.

Since 1993, the population has severely fallen, with estimates placing the decline at 55%, or 3.65% each year.

There are around 5.4 million members of the breeding population.

The loss of wetland habitats, such as marshes and meadows, is a major hazard to these animals.

As birds raise their young on hayfields, many of them perish when the crop is harvested.

As unfortunate as it is, some Sedge Wrens are also lost to building strikes when migrating.

Hayfields, prairies, ponds sides, marshland, ancient croplands, pastures containing tall grass, and sphagnum swamps are all places you could find a Sedge Wren, and all of these places also have woody plants.

These animals travel long distances to find suitable breeding grounds.

While this wren may be seen across Ohio at any time of the year, the best times to observe it are in the spring and fall when it is on its way to or from its wintering grounds. 

Oak Entrances Preserve Metropark, Fernald Preserve, Metzger Marshes Wildlife Region, Killdeer Plains Conservation Area, and Cleveland Lakefront Nature Reserve are just a few of the places where you may see them.

6. Rock Wren

Rock Wren
Credits: Wikipedia

The Rock Wren, sometimes known as the House Wren, is a small to medium-sized wren that stands out due to its long, thin tail and beak.

It has light brown wings and back, and a white chest and abdomen having faint brown streaks and a buffy wash. 

They have spots on their wings, back, and tail.

There’s a white line across the brow of the face.

The song of a Rock Wren consists of a sequence of syllables that vary greatly in length and pitch, such as kereee-kereee-kereee, chaiir-chair-chaiir-chair, deeddle-deeddle, tur-turr-tur, kerree-kerree, trrrrrrrrrr.

The nest of a Rock Wren is often located in a crevice between rocks or in a rock itself on stony ground.

The cup-shaped nest is constructed from materials including grass, moss, fur, and bark. 

Spider silk, hair, wool, or even rootlets are used to line the nest.

Little stones or sticks are used as the nest’s base.

About 4 to 8 eggs are laid by the female in a single clutch.

Spots of reddish brown color may be seen throughout an otherwise white egg.

Both the incubation phase and the nestling stage last for around two weeks.

Among the Rock Wren’s preferred foods are a wide variety of invertebrates, including grasshoppers, ants, beetles, crickets, and flies. Plants, seeds, and spiders all make up this creature’s diet.

The Rock Wren was formerly rather widespread over its entire range, but its populations have been steadily falling for the last 50 years at a rate of around 0.65% each year.

At least 4.1 million individuals make up the mating population.

The Brown-headed Cowbird, a parasite known to attack this species’ young, and PVC posts at mining sites also pose a hazard.

They may adjust well to changes in their environment.

From the lowest deserts to the highest mountains, Rock Wrens prefer arid, stony habitats with little plant life.

Specific habitats include talus slopes, rocky outcrops, sagebrush, canyon walls, cliffs, and steep ravines and valleys that are part of the shrubsteppe.

In addition to grasslands and forests, the desert also has arroyos and mesas that serve as homes for many animals.

Quarries, rockpiles, rubbish, and old surface mines are prime locations for seeing migrating birds across the meadow and agricultural fields.

The state considers these migratory birds to be unintentionally invasive.

Oak Openings Preservation Metropark, Edgewater Park, the area around Mount Hope, and, most lately, the area around Cambridge have all reported sightings.

7. Bewick’s Wren

Bewick Wren

The Bewick’s Wren is a tiny wren that is around 15 centimeters in length from head to tail.

The back and wings are dark, the tail is highly banded, and the white eyebrow is pronounced. 

White makes up the neck and the lower back, while grey is the upper body.

This species’ songs also vary by individual and by location.

A trill is the last note or buzz in a succession of notes, buzzes, warbles, or phrases.

Nests of Bewick’s Wrens are often found in man-made structures, natural holes, on ledges, in nesting boxes, underbrush heaps, and in derelict buildings. 

Grass, leaves, wood, rootlets, moss, and many other plant materials are woven together to form a cup-shaped nest.

Wool, plumage, hair, soft plant fiber, and snakeskin all go into making the lining. 

A clutch consists of three to eight eggs, depending on the size of the female.

The spots on the white eggs might be either purple or reddish brown.

The incubation period lasts 14-16 days, and the fledglings remain in the nest for the same amount of time.

The Bewick’s Wren eats tiny invertebrates, including eggs, pupae, bug larvae, and adults.

They often feed on insects, including crickets, bees, wasps, moths, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles, flies, and spiders.

They may also eat plant matter, like seeds and fruit.

The population of Bewick’s Wrens is steady and widespread throughout their range.

An estimated 7.9 million mating birds exist in the world. 

The population began to fall in the early 1900s, and eventually, the species vanished from the eastern highlands and the middle of the country.

Its range has dwindled, and it is now only found in the western half of the United States, with the exception of the area that lies east of the Mississippi River.

The Bewick’s Wren has declined because the House Wren has been colonizing its breeding grounds.

This is because House Wrens often invade the nesting territories of Bewick’s Wrens, destroying or removing the birds’ eggs.

Competition with introduced species, including House Sparrows, European Starlings, Carolina Wrens, and Song Sparrows, as well as pesticide usage, pose additional dangers.

The Bewick’s Wren is found in a wide variety of habitats, including parks, brushlands, cactus stands, open grasslands, evergreen forests, oak woods, mesquite, desert scrub, hedgerows, willows, suburbs, gardens, and towns.

Although most of these species stay there, some may travel quite small distances.

This wren was last seen in 1995, making it one of the state’s rarest birds.

Columbus, Toledo, Findlay, Jackson, and Cleveland were formerly common locations for them.

Check out this article on Types of Wrens to learn more about Wrens. 


In conclusion, Ohio is home to seven unique species of wrens, each with its own distinct characteristics and habitats.

From the House Wren with its boisterous song to the elusive Winter Wren with its unique tail-flicking behavior, these small birds are a delight to observe and appreciate.

By understanding the differences between these species, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the biodiversity that exists in Ohio’s wildlife and the importance of preserving their habitats.

So next time you’re out birdwatching, keep an eye out for these charming and fascinating creatures.


What is the most common wren species in Ohio?

The House Wren is the most common wren species in Ohio, and can be found throughout the state in a variety of habitats.

Where can I find wrens in Ohio?

Wrens can be found in a variety of habitats in Ohio, including woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, and suburban areas. Look for them near brush piles, shrubs, and low vegetation.

What do wrens eat?

Wrens are insectivores, and their diet consists mainly of insects and spiders. They also eat some fruits and seeds.

How can I attract wrens to my backyard?

To attract wrens to your backyard, provide them with nest boxes or brush piles for shelter, and offer insects and spiders as a food source. They also enjoy sunflower seeds and mealworms.

Are wrens beneficial to have around?

Yes, wrens are beneficial to have around as they eat large numbers of insects and spiders that can be harmful to gardens and crops. They also provide a beautiful song and are a joy to observe in nature.

Are wrens protected in Ohio?

Yes, wrens are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it illegal to harm or harass them or their nests without a permit.

Last Updated on June 24, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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