A project of

Winter Wren

Wren of the Wood

Winter Wren is an unusual wren: its breeding range extends further north than any other North American wren - small numbers of individuals nest regularly in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories - and, unlike most of its relatives, it lives in mature, structurally complex forests.

The State of Winter Wrens

Regionally: Stable

Numbers of Winter Wrens counted during Mountain Birdwatch have been steady since 2000. Sharp drops in numbers occur after harsh winters, but populations have subsequently rebounded in each case.

Recent stability


Past stability

The average number of Winter Wren counted during the first 10 years of Mountain Birdwatch was steady.

Globally: Stable

Data collected by the Breeding Bird Survey indicate no long-term trend in numbers of Winter Wrens. Substantial year-to-year variation is evident, however, and reflects the sensitivity of this species to harsh winter weather.

Winter Wren numbers have been stable across Canada and the United States according to the Breeding Bird Survey. Points indicate annual estimate of relative abundance; higher numbers mean more Winter Wrens were counted in that year. Solid black lines above and below indicate the uncertainty around estimates of relative abundance. Figure provided by the United States Geological Survey.

Opportunities for Conservation

The long-term stability of Winter Wren populations suggests that the species is not in need of any immediate or specific conservation intervention.

What We Can Do to Help

Most importantly, we can continue to provide complex, mature forests that offer safe nesting and wintering habitat. Because of the vulnerability of Winter Wren to harsh winter weather, we should continue monitoring populations, especially given the risk of increasingly volatile and severe winters due to human-caused climate change.

State of Mountain Birds