One kind of bird that sometimes uses a cactus for a nest is the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus), a bird that lives along the southern border of the US between California and west Texas and northern border of Mexico. Females and males will help each other to construct a nest in a cactus, using grass, straw, and a feather lining. The nest is elongated and has a roof as well as sides and a bottom, with an opening in the side to help protect baby wrens as they grow. The adult wrens build another nest for themselves to roost in. The cactus wren likes large, sturdy species of cacti for nesting, such as cholla.
The Cactus Ferriginous Pygmy Owl is a small, very light owl (only 2.5oz!) that makes its nest in saguero and organ pipe cacti cavities near the border between Arizona and Mexico. Though small, they often hunt prey twice their size, and are partially diurnal and nocturnal. They are highly endangered due to habitat loss from the ever spreading human development in Tucson. They were put on the Endangered Species List in the ’90s, then delisted during the Bush administration because though their numbers were extremely low, their extinction in Arizona would not affect the population in Mexico. The battle for it’s status is yet ongoing.
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