Sunday, July 20, 2014
More Sedge Wrens!
Early morning at Pheasant Branch Conservancy
It was slightly hazy for a while this morning, but I appreciated the soft light. Mosquitoes were out but I escaped with only a few bites. Bird-wise, it was a fairly routine outing. Once again I did not detect the Yellow-breasted Chats or Dickcissels. However, one thing is becoming apparent: with each subsequent visit to the prairie the number of Sedge Wrens is increasing.
Yellow Goat's Beard
So, where did all these Sedge Wrens come from? Why now? Did they already nest elsewhere this year? If so, was it to the north or south? Did they stage? They're predictably unpredictable. They almost seem to be waiting nearby for the structure of the vegetation to appeal to their nesting senses ... or were they here all along? Some have proposed that birds arriving in May delay nesting until appropriate conditions are available. This Sedge Wren study states: "Warm-season grasses do not provide enough cover until late June in Illinois. Once the necessary height of about 1 meter has been reached the sedge wrens show up." They just show up, I guess! Assuming a second brood, I suspect these wrens disperse after their first brood in search for habitat that's just on the cusp of becoming suitable for breeding.
The dark background of this next image is actually the shady part of an oak tree about 100 yards away. I like the sharp contrast. Pausing for a brief moment, this Sedge Wren was exchanging songs with another male not too far away. I tallied 8 singing wrens, but there are likely more.
A few interesting macro subjects from the morning...
Sphinx Caterpillar Paonias
Treehopper Telamona decorata
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Jul 20, 2014 6:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Great Blue Heron
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
All images © 2014 Mike McDowell