Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wrens, Wrens and More Wrens

Whenever I walk around the CyFair campus, I am verbally abused by N. Mockingbirds. They seem to think it's their job to alert all the other birds to my presence. Now that fall is definitely here, I now also have to put up with verbal abuse from Wrens, which scold me whenever I approach their territories!

We have a lot of Wrens on the campus. Surprisingly, though, none of them are Carolina Wrens, the species that is by far the most common in our area. We always have Carolinas in our yards at home but I haven't seen one at the college for at least a year. That's a shame because they're such perky little birds. Unlike most other Wrens, their call is easy to identify, too: The books give it as "tea kettle, tea kettle". (Two me it sounds more like "video, video" or sometimes "I see you, I see you".

The beginning of the campus nature trail always has Sedge Wrens during the winter and a couple have already taken up residence there this fall. I hear them every time that I pass by, although I rarely catch more than a brief glimpse of them. They may become less skittish once they've settled in. Last year they got comfortable enough with me to let me take photos.

A few yards further along the trail a House Wren seems to have moved in. The only photos I've managed of it so far this year have been terrible, and so here are photos of a couple of last year's birds.

Further down the trail there is now at least one Winter Wren. The smallest (and darkest) of all our Wrens, this one is also the most secretive. Every year I try to get a decent photo of a Winter Wren -  and every year I fail. So no photos, I'm afraid. I'll keep trying, though.

The only other Wren that we normally get in southeast Texas is the Marsh Wren. Unfortunately, we don't usually see these at the college. Given how dry the campus has become this year, I'm sure I won't see one there any time soon.

Other Wrens

In December we're heading over to Big Bend National Park for a few days. While we're there, I'm hoping to see three other Wren species: Cactus, Rock and Canyon. On our last visit to Big Bend we dipped on Canyon Wren but we saw plenty of the other two species.

 Rock Wren

Cactus Wren


Birdwoman said...

I was honored by a visit from a House Wren in my backyard recently. I've only seen it that one time so perhaps it didn't tarry.

When we were in the Big Bend area just about a year ago, we saw all three of the wrens you are hoping to see. They were very much in evidence, especially that flashy Cactus Wren. You gotta love those wrens! All of them.

Alcester nature photography. said...

Superb shots, how do they differ from UK Wrens if at all?

Dag Norman said...

I like your foto´s, many beautiful birds, my wife had 3 weeks in Texas - Florida - Tennessee and back to Texas, driving by car in september this year, she made some birdfotos for making me interessed for a usa-trip, and it works, Im seeing forward for a birdfoto-trip in these areas in some years, she even had pictures of Bewick´s Wren, from Smokey Mountain.
Wren is a very "funny" bird, in Norway we only have one of them, Winter Wren, the second smallest bird our country, but one of the biggest sound!


Jeff said...

We've only ever had a short visit from a House Wren in our yards, too, Birdwoman. Luckily, our Carolina Wrens come regularly and keep us entertained!

Jeff said...

I'm not sure about UK wrens. Don't you only have one type? Also, it seems to me that your wrens are generally shy, at least compared to our Carolina and Cactus Wrens.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Dag.
You should certainly follow your wife's example and make a trip over here at some time! The birds are spectacular - and much easier to see than I've found them to be in Europe.