Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Carolina Wren!

With the bitterly cold winter behind us, I wasn't sure whether or not we would have Carolina Wrens at the conservancy this spring. Their populations can be decimated by severe winters, but there are plenty of houses near the creek corridor with feeding stations and adequate protection from the elements. It was late October when last I heard one singing, but Charles Naeseth told me he heard one either late December or early January. Late fall or early winter, someone told me a story of a Carolina Wren that found a way into someone's basement!

This energetic wren kept flying from one side of the corridor to the other. Starting from the ground, he would deftly work his way up to higher perches, occasionally pausing to belt out his song. Once reaching a suitable branch, he would carry on with his tea-kettle tea-kettle tea-kettle songs for several minutes. Eventually, the wren seemed to sense there was still more territory to cover. Watching and following the bird, I figured I might have a chance to get some nice photographs. Carolina Wrens have been at the conservancy for several years, but I've never experienced an opportunity like quite like this one.

Though small, these wrens have one of the loudest voices of all the songbirds at the creek corridor. Depending on the acoustics, sometimes I can hear them from a few hundred yards away. I have to say, though, I was astonished that this bird didn't flinch or break its song when a Cooper's Hawk called from a few dozen yards away. Today the wren was lucky; something else caught the hawk's attention. At present, the corridor is filled with Dark-eyed Juncos. I'll always root for the songbird first, but I do like the accipiters of the conservancy. What happens isn't about my sentiments and partialities, though—it's about survival. I'm just pleased we're going to have Carolina Wren song during springtime birding once again.

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Apr 2, 2014 7:15 AM - 9:15 AM
33 species

Canada Goose
Cooper's Hawk
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell


  1. Definitely a challenging bird to capture. Well done.

  2. Love these Mike! Glad to hear the Carolina Wren has returned.