Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Arizona State Bird

The Arizona state bird is also popularly known as Cactus Wren. It was chosen as Arizona state bird by the Arizona Legislature in 1931. It is the largest wren in Arizona, measuring 7-8 inches in length. It remained Arizona's only official wildlife representative until 1985. Cactus Wren can be easily recognized from it’s rather raucous chirp which is much like the sound of a car engine trying to turn over.

The Cactus Wren's back is brown with white spots and its under parts, including the throat, are lighter colored with black spots. The bill is as long as its head and curves down slightly. The Arizona state bird’s wing feathers have white bars and its tail has black bars. A distinctive white line appears over each eye. It is generally found in the low lying areas and parts of Utah, Texas, New Mexico, California, and Mexico. They can also be seen in the desert habitats as well as open woodlands or grasslands

Arizona state bird is omnivorous (both plant and animal eating), scrounging for insects on the ground and in trees and shrubs and also feeding on seeds and fruits. They are active during daylight hours at any time of the year. Cactus Wren eggs and the young wrens are vulnerable to smaller predators such as Blue Jays and snakes; the adult birds are rarely preyed upon. The male bird is more active as compared to its female counterpart.

Arizona state bird also weaves their nests in a very special manner. Their nests are football-shaped, made of grass, and lined with feathers and quite large as well. Cactus Wrens usually build their nests in thorny trees to protect themselves and their young ones from predators. This kind of vegetation is generally found in the desert regions. These nests serve as a home for year-round protection from the cold, the rain, and predators.

The female Arizona state bird lays 3-4 eggs at a time and the incubation period is around 16 days. The young ones leave the nest in about 3-4 weeks. The lifespan of the Arizona State bird is rather short. It lives for around 2-4 years. The cactus wren is protected by federal law. It is illegal to hunt or possess live specimens. Because of its adaptability to the varying climate in this region, the future looks good for the “Arizona State Bird ".

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