The Winter Wren is rufous brown above, greyer below, barred with darker brown and grey, even on wings and tail. The bill is dark brown, the legs pale brown. Young birds are less distinctly barred. Most are identifiable by the pale eyebrows over their eyes.

Habitat and Distribution

It breeds in coniferous forests from British Columbia to the Atlantic Ocean. It migrates through and winters across southeastern Canada, the eastern half the United States and (rarely) north-eastern Mexico. Small numbers may be casual in the western United States and Canada.


For the most part insects and spiders are its food, but in winter large pupae are taken and some seeds.


The male builds a small number of nests called cock nests but they are never lined until the female chooses one to use.The nest is a normal round shape made of grass, moss, lichens or leaves. It is tucked into a hole, tree trunk, crack in a rock or corner of a building. But often it is built in bushes. Five to eight white or slightly speckled eggs are laid in April, and second broods are reared. The Winter Wren nests mostly in coniferous forests, especially those of spruce and fir.