From bright blue to scarlet and everything in between, no other animal covers the entire spectrum of colors like birds do.
But what about those that are less flashy? Some of the most remarkable birds in the world have brown feathers, flying under the radar altogether.
Maybe you’ve spotted a long-beaked brown bird in your backyard or local park? Or perhaps you’re an avid bird watcher looking to spot as many as possible!
Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll find 15 small brown birds with long beaks.
From familiar garden visitors to those you’ll need to look a little harder for, they’re all here!
One of the most common birds in the world, the Sedge Wren can be found in Europe, Asia, North America, and Central America.
Its black and white streaked upper parts and head, gray underparts, and long, thin beak can be identified.
It’s also a pretty tiny bird, measuring just 4 inches long and weighing no more than 0.44 ounces.
Their preferred habitat is anywhere with dense vegetation and nearby water sources. This includes grasslands, marshes, meadows, and prairies.
Their diet is exclusively insectivorous and consists of spiders and other insects they find on the ground or the wing.
Not to be confused with its aforementioned cousin, the Sedge Warbler has an olive-green head and throat, black cap, light gray upperparts, buff underparts, and a white eye ring.
It also has a long, slender beak to pick insects from plants and the forest floor.
It has quite a wide range, covering Alaska to Florida and most other states in North America.
It has also been recorded on several Caribbean Islands. The Sedge Warbler is non-migratory, but if temperatures dip a little too low for comfort, it will head further South.
Another tiny bird, the Bewick’s Wren, measures an average of 5.5 inches in length. It has brown upperparts, gray underparts, and a white stripe above each eye.
However, its most distinguishable feature is its long beak that curves down towards its breast.
This beak has specially evolved with a purpose. This clever little bird uses it to reach down to the ground and snap up insects, seeds, and berries that they find on the floor with extreme precision.
Unlike a lot of other small birds, the Bewick’s Wren does not migrate South for the winter.
Instead, it stays in North America’s wetlands and moist woodlands, setting up home in woven nests and natural cavities.
Found in many regions of North America, the Brown-Headed Nuthatch is about the same size as a House Sparrow.
Its markings are quite different, and they sport gray-blue backs and wings, a buff underneath, and a brown head and neck. They also have a long, black bill.
This bird makes its home in mixed and deciduous woodlands, setting up its nest in dense undergrowth that protects the shelter from predators such as foxes and cats.
While the Brown-Headed Nuthatch will happily eat seeds and insects, it’s nuts that it loves to devour.
These include acorns, hazelnuts, pine cones, and anything else. They use their long beaks to carry the nuts back to a tree and smash them against the bark, opening the outer shell and exposing the seed inside.
The Carolina Wren is one of the smallest birds on our list, measuring an average of just 4 inches and weighing around 20 grams.
Almost as round as it is long, this bird can be identified by its brown upperparts, tail, and wings and pale yellow underparts.
It also has a white eye stripe, white markings on the tail and wings, and a long, curved beak.
This beak allows the Carolina Wren to do a multitude of tasks.
It helps build their intricate nests and for probing into smaller spaces to feed on spiders and small insects.
The Carolina Wren is particularly fussy about where it sets up its home and is equally happy in woodland edges, marshes, wetlands, parks, and suburban gardens.
It’s also famed for its singing voice, which is incredibly loud for a bird that is so small!
Identifiable by its brown upper speckled with pale yellow, white underparts, and long, curved beak, the Brown Creeper is one of the most exciting birds you’ll ever encounter.
It also has black eyes and short legs with powerful claws.
It’s these claws that make this bird so interesting. Rather than flying from branch to branch (albeit perfectly capable), the Brown Creeper swoops down to the ground from up high, grasps onto the trunk of the next tree it’s visiting, and begins to climb up.
Along the way, it uses its long beak to peck into crevices in the bark and picks out small insects such as ants and beetles.
Once it reaches the top of the tree, it glides back down to the forest floor and starts its climb all over again.
Another member of the Wren family and almost as small as the Carolina Wren, the House Wren is a stout little bird that measures just 5 inches long. It has a brown back, white underparts, and a long curved beak.
It also has a famously loud voice despite its small size.
Native to North America, the House Wren is named for its habitat. Rather than heading to woodlands or marshes, it prefers to make its home in yours.
Attics, towers, eaves, and any other man-made structure is the House Wren’s ideal habitat.
They can be a welcome visitor, though, as their insectivorous diet is almost guaranteed to keep any ants, beetles, roaches, and any other creepy crawlies from entering your home!
There are no prizes for guessing where the Cactus Wren likes to build its nest! Cacti, spiny bushes, and other plants that offer protection from owls, raccoons, coyotes, snakes, bobcats, and other predators is the ideal nesting place for this small bird.
This doesn’t limit them to a particular area, though, and they have been recorded nesting in parks, gardens, farms, and urban areas.
The Cactus Wren is pretty easy to identify. It has a brown back with black markings, brown wings and tail with similar markings, and a curved beak. It also has a jet black crest on its head, flanked with pale brown stripes.
The Winter Wren has a wide range and has been recorded in Europe, North America, Asia, and even the Arctic Ocean Islands.
Like all other wrens, this little bird doesn’t let its size of just 4 inches long get in its way and has an aggressive attitude and loud voice.
Its brown-gray crown, back, wings, tail, white underparts, and blue-gray breast can be identified.
It also has a long, curved beak for picking insects, snails, spiders, and other invertebrates out of tree branches and off the ground.
Winter Wrens are migratory birds that move from their nesting sites in North America and head over to Spain in the spring and summer.
Like at home, they’ll build nests in coniferous forests, mixed woodland, marshes, and boggy areas here.
Despite possessing the “Wren” name, the Rock Wren is much larger than its cousins. It’s not only its size that makes it look different but its overall appearance.
It has pale brown upper parts, a light gray belly and breast, and a long yellow beak.
As its name suggests, the Rock Wren builds its home in rocky areas near a water source.
This could be an aperture, hold, or even on the ground behind some larger rocks. It will hunt here, too, using its long beak to snatch insects from the ground as well as pick them out from hiding places amongst the rocks.
Native to Canada, the Marsh Wren can be found in woods and wetlands from Quebec to Ontario.
It can also be found in the Northern United States and Mexico, although its numbers in these areas are far fewer.
Marsh Wrens can be identified by their chestnut brown upperparts, white underparts and breast, and white barring on the wings and tail.
They also have a long, curved beak. Their size depends on their sex, with males measuring around 5.5 inches long and females measuring 4.5 inches.
The Whimbrel is a bird that you’re highly unlikely to find in your backyard, but if you live by the sea or you’re vacationing in a coastal area, you might just spot one!
This seabird measures 17.5 inches tall and has a wingspan of 32 inches. It is covered in white-speckled brown feathers and has a long, crescent-shaped beak that measures up to 4 inches long.
Its breeding grounds are in Scotland, and when winter rolls around, it takes to the skies and migrates to Africa.
Its diet consists mainly of fish, shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans while wading in the ocean.
Another seabird, Wilson’s Snipe is covered with brown plumage and has a white underside and a long, black beak. It measures about 10 inches long and has a wingspan of 18 inches when fully grown.
Its beak is one of its most impressive features, and it is almost three times the size of its head.
It uses this to easily pick fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures out of the shallow waters.
The Kiwi is one of New Zealand’s most famous animals. While you might think this to be a small bird, it measures up to 2 ft tall and has a wingspan of up to 4 ft!
It also has spiky-looking brown feathers all over its body and a long, thin beak that resembles a toothpick.
This ground-dwelling bird is incapable of flight and builds its nest on the floor in thick forests. It also eats seeds, berries, fruits, and large insects.
Much like its cousin, the Rock Wren, the Canyon Wren can be found living in dry, rocky canyons across North America.
It is also quite similar to the Rock Wren in appearance and has dark brown upper parts, a white breast, and a white throat.
Its beak is long and thin, measuring approximately 5.5 inches from tail to beak.
The Canyon Wren feeds on insects and larvae, but, unlike many members of the Wren family, it isn’t exclusively insectivorous. Instead, it will happily peck away at seeds, grasses, corn, wheat, and wild berries, as well as insects.
As you can see from the birds we’ve listed above, long beaks aren’t only a remarkable feature – they serve a purpose.
From picking insects out of small crevices to building nests, small brown birds with long beaks are arguably some of the smartest!