Pacific Wren Nests (formerly Winter Wren)

Like their unreasonably large and beautiful song, the Pacific wren (Troglodytes pacificus)  has a surprisingly elaborate nest. Abundant in forested landscapes around much of the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific wren typically constructs its nest out of mosses and builds it into an existing structure such as a rootwad of a fallen tree or the hanging moss on the underside of a tree branch or leaning trunk. Nests are spherical with a small entrance on the side giving access to an enclosed chamber where eggs are laid. Occasionally nest are constructed in tree branches and appear as a spherical glob of moss. My bird nest mentor, Emily Gibson, who first introduced me to Pacific wren nests, noted that the entrance to their nests, in western Washington at least, typically are lined with tiny conifer twigs.

 A Pacific wren singing from a branch above its large spherical nest in a Sitka Spruce. Hoh river valley, Olympic National Park

A Pacific wren singing from a branch above its large spherical nest in a Sitka Spruce. Hoh river valley, Olympic National Park

 A Pacific wren peers out from the entrance at the side of its nest. Olympic National Park.

A Pacific wren peers out from the entrance at the side of its nest. Olympic National Park.

 Note the slender conifer twigs around the entrance to the nest.

Note the slender conifer twigs around the entrance to the nest.

 A Pacific wren with insects in its bill bound for young ones in a nearby nest. West slope Cascades, King County, Washington.

A Pacific wren with insects in its bill bound for young ones in a nearby nest. West slope Cascades, King County, Washington.

Similar Nests: Bushtits

 Two bushtits at the entrance to their nest in the Snoqualmie Valley in western Washington. Bushtits ( Psaltriparus minimus ), a similar sized bird found in much of the Pacific Northwest as well, also build enclosed nests out of mosses and lichens. Bushtit nests are more pendulous with an entrance towards the top of the nest.

Two bushtits at the entrance to their nest in the Snoqualmie Valley in western Washington. Bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus), a similar sized bird found in much of the Pacific Northwest as well, also build enclosed nests out of mosses and lichens. Bushtit nests are more pendulous with an entrance towards the top of the nest.

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David Moskowitz

David Moskowitz, Winthrop, WA, 98862