About four or five years ago I was in Big Bend National Park in West Texas and I just missed the perfect shot of a cactus wren and it bothered me for years. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Mission, Texas looking for reptiles and while looking quietly under an enormous patch of prickly pear cacti I started hearing secretive movements among the spiny cactus pads. Then I saw a beautifully-patterned cactus wren right in front of me. Then another a short distance off. Then another. After hanging around for about an hour I was able to get these shots and share them with all of you! Make sure to click the link at the bottom to see and compare how these look compared to our other native North American wrens!
(click any image to enlarge)
Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
Largest of our North American wrens, this stocky and practically fearless songbird actually makes its presence known instead of hiding in the cacti where it makes its home. They are found across the American Southwestern US border from California to The Gulf Coast, and can be found as far south as Central Mexico. This was one of several found in a huge prickly pear patch in Mission, Texas, near the Mexican border.