Cactus Wren

Cactus wren, USFWS photo by Gary Stolz

The Cactus Wren is the state bird of Arizona. At 7-8 inches long it is the largest of the desert wrens. Its pouch-like nest of grass and twigs is often built within the protective spines of the cholla cactus or in mesquite trees or thorny shrubs. Its primary food is insects including beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars. It may also feed on prickly pear and other plants when insects are not available. The white line over the eye is a characteristic marking. These very adaptable birds can often be found in towns and cities as well as out in the desert scrub.

Photo credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Gary Stolz. You can download this and many other interesting animal photos at

Arizona state bird and flower (saguaro blossom)

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