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Posts Tagged ‘wren’

I love the sweet sounds of a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), like this little beauty that I spotted on Wednesday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  Most of the times when I see a Carolina Wren, it is hopping about in the underbrush, but sometimes when they are going to sing, they choose a higher, more visible perch.

Carolina Wren

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus) are small birds that often remain hidden, but their loud songs let you know when they are near. I caught a glimpse of this one from an unusual angle last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Carolina Wren

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sometimes when a bird fluffs up its feathers, its appearance changes enough that identification becomes more difficult than usual. That was certainly the case with this little Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) that I spotted on New Year’s Day at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The head and the tail looked normal for a Carolina Wren, but I had never before seen spots on the back of one.

Once again, experts in a Facebook forum came to my rescue and reassured me that this was normal behavior for a Carolina Wren. When they fluff up their feathers to roost at night, the spots are visible too, although in this case I suspect that the wren was merely trying to retain body heat in the bitter cold weather that we have been experiencing the last couple of weeks.

Carolina Wren

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This bird was tiny and elusive, but I finally managed to get a shot of what I confirmed is a Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) today at Huntley Meadows Park. The Winter Wren is smaller—about 3-4 inches (8-11 mm) in length—and has darker markings on its belly than the Carolina Wrens that I am more accustomed to seeing.

The description of this bird found on the website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology matches perfectly the behavior I observed today. “It habitually holds its tiny tail straight up and bounces up and down. This rather weak flier hops and scampers among fallen logs mouselike, inspecting upturned roots and vegetation for insects.”

Winter Wren

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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I had hopes of capturing lots of images of birds perched on snow-flocked branches at Huntley Meadows Park  yesterday morning, but this happy little Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) was the only bird that cooperated. About an inch of light fluffy snow had fallen overnight and covered the trees and cars, but the streets were totally clear—it was what some local meteorologists like to call “conversation snow.” Traffic snarls easily in Northern Virginia, but fortunately this dusting of snow did not seem to create any serious problems on the road.

So far this winter, snow has been uncommon here, but I am sure we will be blasted before long and, conditions permitting, I’ll be out again trying to capture the snowy images that I have in my mind.

Carolina Wren

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Peering through my telephoto lens at this tiny bird, I couldn’t help but smile—its energetic personality, round body, and tiny wings and tail were cartoon-like.  It looked like a wren, but it certainly didn’t resemble the Carolina Wrens that I am used to seeing.

I did a little research and have concluded that this is probably a Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis). According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, these little birds are “incomparably energetic in voice” and per unit weight deliver their songs with ten times more power than a crowing rooster. I can only imagine groups of scientists with tiny scales and microphones conducting the research to back up that statement.

I noted on the statistics page of my blog that this will be posting number 1,000. I never imagined how much I would come to enjoy the process of blogging when I started this blog on July 7, 2012 with a photo of a Blue Dasher dragonfly. The support and encouragement from innumerable readers has helped to sustain me on my journey into photography. Thanks to all of you.

The journey continues.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Back home from a week overseas in Vienna, I felt the need to reconnect with nature and headed off to the marsh at Huntley Meadows Park early this morning. The weather was cold and gray, but I was able to get some shots of birds, like this Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), surveying the frozen pond from an overhanging branch.

It’s nice to be home.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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