Fun Facts

  • The species' entire range is nearly restricted to California, extending from Oregon to Baja California.
  • Surprisingly, the Wrentit's nearest relatives are thought to be a family of birds called the babblers, found in Asia!
  • This bird's voice can be heard in the background of many old Hollywood films that were shot on location near LA.

Bird of the Month

July 2012

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)


Photo © Tom Clifton

A seldom-seen bird with no close relatives, the Wrentit is perhaps best known for its unmistakable "bouncing ball" song. Wrentits most often dwell in chaparral habitat, such as canyons with coyote brush, and do not migrate. They can be easily found in Carmel's Hatton Canyon, Carmel Valley, and along the Big Sur coast.
Male and female Wrentits are identical in appearance, with shaggy gray-brown plumage and pale eyes. The long tail is often held in a cocked position, especially when the bird is singing. The song can be described as a series of descending staccato notes that accelerate towards the end.