Neotropical Birds
Version  1.0
This is a historic version of this account.   Current version
 - Black-bellied Wren
 - Black-bellied Wren

Black-bellied Wren Pheugopedius fasciatoventris

David M. Logue
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2009

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The Black-bellied Wren is a medium sized member of the genus Thryothorus (but see Systematics for a recent reclassification). Adult males and females are similar in appearance, with a stout body and slim bill, a rich chestnut back, a black belly barred with white, a thin white line above the eye, and a white patch extending from the chin to the upper part of the breast. Males are substantially larger than females. Juveniles are duller in coloration than adults. Juveniles also sport a gray patch, rather than a white one, extending from the chin the breast, and a variable amount of yellow in the bill.

Black-bellied Wrens are locally common throughout their range which extends from Costa Rica, through Panama, and into Western and Northern Colombia. They occur in lowland forest edges, degraded forests, and stream sides, where they forage for arthropods in tangled vines, suspended collections of dead leaves, and in the canopy and subcanopy layers. Pairs maintain territories of approximately one hectare throughout the year. Nesting occurs in the rainy season (Auer et al. 2007). Both sexes build the domed nest in which the female lays three eggs on consecutive days. Both parents care for the nestlings and juveniles.
Although Black-bellied Wrens are notoriously difficult to see, both sexes vocalize frequently (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989). The most distinctive vocalizations are the male’s “cream-o-wheat” call, the rich, slow male song, the shorter, thinner-sounding female song, and the pair’s “rich liquid duet” (Hilty and Brown 1986). Most duets consist of alternating male and female songs, with only small gaps and points of overlap between songs. Black-bellied Wren; photo © Nick Athanas/antpitta.com

Distribution of the Black-bellied Wren - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black-bellied Wren

Recommended Citation

Logue, D.M. (2009). Black-bellied Wren (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.blbwre1.01
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