The House WrenTroglodytes aedon, is a very small songbird of the wren family, Troglodytidae. It occurs from Canada to southernmost South America, and is thus the most widely distributed bird in the Americas. It occurs in most suburban areas in its range and it is the single most common wren. Its taxonomy is highly complex and some subspecies groups are often considered separate species.
The subspecies vary greatly, with upperparts ranging from dull greyish-brown to rich rufescent-brown, and the underparts ranging from brown, over buff and pale grey, to pure white. All subspecies have blackish barring to the wings and tail, and some also to the flanks. All subspecies show a faint eye-ring and eyebrow and have a long, thin bill with a blackish upper mandible, and a black-tipped yellowish or pale grey lower mandible. The legs are pinkish or grey. The short tail is typically held cocked.
This bird's rich bubbly song is commonly heard during the nesting season but rarely afterwards. There is marked geographical variation in its song, though somewhat more gradual than in the birds' outward appearance which can strikingly differ e.g. on neighboring islands in the Caribbean. Birds from far north and south of the species' range nonetheless have songs that differ markedly.
The House Wren is usually divided into three distinct subspecies groups and one or several distinct island-endemic subspecies. Some or all of these are often considered distinct species.
Northern House Wren, Troglodytes (aedon) aedon group – Canada to southern USA Brown-throated Wren, Troglodytes (aedon) brunneicollis group – southern USA and central ranges of Mexico Cozumel Wren, Troglodytes (aedon) beani – Cozumel Island off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico Southern House Wren, Troglodytes (aedon) musculus group – southern Mexico, Central and South America
Cobb's Wren, Troglodytes cobbi – Falkland Islands (South Atlantic) (see /ComingsBirds.com/Antarctica) Socorro Wren, Troglodytes sissonii – Socorro, Revillagigedo Islands Clarion Wren, Troglodytes tanneri – Clarion, Revillagigedo Islands (East Pacific) The Socorro Wren is a highly distinct form, appearing somewhat like a mixture between a House Wren and a Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii).
House Wrens are feisty and pugnacious animals considering their tiny size. They are known to occasionally destroy the eggs of other birds nesting in their territory by puncturing the eggshell. They are also known to fill up other birds' nests within its territory with sticks to make them unusable.