What Do Wrens Eat?

Wrens are primarily insectivores, meaning that they eat insects and spiders such as beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, flies and leafhoppers. Some species of wren have adapted to their environment to include other food items, such as berries.

There are 78 species of wren, a small songbird, in the Americas. With a nesting range from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America, it has one of the largest breeding ranges of any songbird on the continent. Wrens can live in a wide variety of habitats. House wrens, for example, live in cavities in woodlands and also in human environments, such as barns and other buildings.

While surviving largely on insects, the Carolina wren is also known to eat some fruits and seeds. They eat peanut butter alone or in combination with seeds from a bird feeder. The cactus wren, found in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and northern Mexico, lives in the desert. Its feeding behavior consists of turning over rocks and other objects on the ground to find edible items underneath, including fruit pulp and seeds along with insects, such as beetles and grasshoppers.

Most species of wren are brownish in color, small and unassuming in appearance. Some species like the house wren can be very aggressive, however and are known to attack and drive away any other cavity nesting birds within 100 feet of their own nests.