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The Wrentit is an unmarked, brown, rotund bird with a yellow iris and a long tail. It is about 6 1/2 inches long and has a short, somewhat curved dark bill.
 Similar Species
The Wrentit is often confused with the Bushtit, another drab species found in similar habitat. A useful plumage feature for separating these two is the distribution of reddish-brown colors: a Wrentit will show its warmest color on the lower chest, which is often a pinkish-brown. Bushtits tend to show cold gray chests with the warmest brown tones found on the head, especially the crown.
With practice the two species are easily separated by behavior and voice. The Bushtit is a social bird, found in loose flocks that fly from tree to tree in the mid-canopy and constantly producing high-pitched chip notes. By contrast, the Wrentit is usually found as a pair of birds or a solitary individual, and will usually stay low to the ground in dense brush. It rarely flies in the open without a direct threat, preferring to retreat deeper within vegetation and make various low-pitched chattering calls.
Five subspecies recognized:
This placement of this species in the taxonomic order remained longtime a mystery. It was placed in its own family or within the Sylviidae Warblers. New research show that it is the only American member of the Timaliidae, the Babblers.
Low brush and chaparral, often near water.
Active and vocal, but rarely visible. The bird often raises its tail while jumping around within dense brush.
The call is a varied series of grinding and chattering noises.
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