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.


Sedge Wren

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.


Sedge Wren

A few interesting macro subjects from the morning...


American Bellflower


Sphinx Caterpillar Paonias 


Crab Spider


Treehopper Telamona decorata


Leafhopper unidentified

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Jul 20, 2014 6:30 AM - 10:00 AM
52 species

Wood Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Pheasant
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Killdeer
Spotted Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell

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