Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Buff-breasted Wren (Cantorchilus leucotis)
Buff-breasted Wren

Buff-breasted Wren

Cantorchilus leucotis

The buff-breasted wren, known scientifically as Cantorchilus leucotis, is a charming bird with a robust build. Males typically weigh between 18.5 to 22.8 grams, while females are slightly lighter, ranging from 16.0 to 19.5 grams. Both sexes share a similar appearance, with a palette that includes rufescent to grayish brown on the head, nape, shoulders, tail, and back, with the tail exhibiting prominent barring. The face is adorned with a whitish to gray-brown supercilium and throat, while the chest boasts a buffy hue, transitioning to a more cinnamon belly. Juveniles present a duller version of the adults' plumage, with a notably paler buff on the chest.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the buff-breasted wren, look for its rufescent to grayish brown upperparts and heavily barred tail. The bird's face is characterized by a lighter supercilium and throat, and its underparts display a gradient from buffy chest to cinnamon belly. The sexes are similar, but the males are slightly heavier.


This species thrives in a variety of environments, predominantly those with low to medium height vegetation. Habitats range from secondary forests and their edges to regenerating clearings, with mangrove forests and shade coffee plantations being of lesser significance. In Venezuela, they are exclusive to gallery forests along waterways amidst grasslands, while in Amazonia, they favor várzea forest borders and older river islands. They have also been spotted in primary forests in Bolivia and inhabit the dry scrub of Colombia's Serranía de Macuira.


The buff-breasted wren's domain spans across northern and central South America, with a core presence in the Amazon Basin. Its territory encompasses most of Venezuela, northern Colombia, and extends into eastern Panama. The western range brushes the Andes and stretches through eastern Peru, barely touching the northwestern borders of Bolivia. The Guianas, Ilha de Marajo at the Amazon River's mouth, and Panama's Pearl Islands are also included. In Brazil, the range covers the central-southern and southeast Amazon Basin, reaching towards the southeastern Atlantic coast, predominantly within the southern Cerrado and potentially the northeastern Pantanal.


Buff-breasted wrens are sociable birds, often foraging in pairs or family groups and occasionally joining mixed-species flocks. They are active hunters from the forest floor to heights of up to 18 meters, adeptly hopping or making short flights through dense vegetation to glean and probe for their prey.

Song & calls

Both male and female buff-breasted wrens boast extensive song repertoires, with males typically initiating a song that the female completes. They also communicate with a variety of calls, adding to their vocal complexity.


These wrens construct both breeding and dormitory nests, with the latter serving as roosting spots. The nests are globular, made from small sticks and coarse fibers, with breeding nests lined with finer materials. Both types feature a tunnel entrance, with the breeding nests having a longer and more downturned one. Nests are usually placed between 1 and 2 meters above ground but can be found as high as 10 meters. Trees, shrubs, vine tangles, and palms are common substrates. Clutch sizes are typically three, though some may have only two eggs. They face nest parasitism from shiny cowbirds and striped cuckoos.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the buff-breasted wren consists of insects, spiders, and other small arthropods. Their foraging behavior is versatile, ranging from ground level to the forest canopy.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the buff-breasted wren as Least Concern. With a vast range and common presence throughout, the species does not currently face significant threats to its population.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Buff-breasted Wrens on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Enzo Marinoni
Enzo Marinoni
30 Mar 2024 - 9:10pm

More Wrens

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Very Wholesome App
Joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😄
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
Great app for beginner twitchers
I’ve had a passion of photographing birds for a long time now but have only just gotten into proper birdwatching, and this app is brilliant for those just getting started. There is a great sense of community among users and the app is very easy to use and professional. Awesome app altogether
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.