A permanent resident of the thorn scrub country of the Desert Southwest and Northern Mexico, the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) can survive without freestanding water. The cactus wren gets enough moisture from its diet of insects, spiders, fruit and occasional reptiles and amphibians to survive.
The largest wren in North America, the cactus wren’s plumage is spotted and streaked all over in tones of black, brown and white. A distinguishing characteristic its its conspicuous white supercilluim (eye stripe).
The cactus wren call, sounding like an automobile reluctant to start, is unmistakable. I am not good at identifying bird calls, but even I do not confuse the cactus wren call.
Another common name for the cactus wren is desert thorn bird because of its inaccessible, yet visible, nest in cactus (particularly cholla) or thorny trees.
This cactus wren was photographed along an arroyo behind Casa Paloma 2 in Green Valley AZ.