Monday, February 06, 2017

Carolina Wren Comeback?

Carolina Wren

Here's an interesting article on how harsh winter weather impacts Carolina Wren populations. Though present at Pheasant Branch Conservancy in ones or twos for a few decades, I observed peak breeding activity from 2007 to 2010. The following year their numbers began to decline, eventually dwindling down to a single bird during the spring of 2014. Since that time it's been just sporadic reports by other birders. In fact, my last Carolina Wren sighting at the conservancy was almost 3 years ago.

From the article:
"Carolina Wrens are especially sensi­tive to harsh winter weather as a species that feeds primarily near the ground; heavy snow and ice can easily cover their favorite areas for foraging. And Carolina Wrens are conspicuous and easy to count for backyard bird watch­ers, as they readily come to feeders. But other ground-foraging, nonmigratory species were also probably affected. A study conducted in southern Illinois in 1979 found that Winter Wrens, Hermit Thrushes, and Field Sparrows showed major population declines after a sim­ilar cold snap. That same study showed a complete loss of Carolina Wrens. All four of these species feed on or near the ground and were near the northern lim­it of their ranges."
Link: Full article at Cornell Lab of Ornithology

I wonder when they'll return to the creek corridor.

Carolina Wren © 2017 Mike McDowell

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