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Monday, September 17, 2012

The smallest

Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)

I love this quote: The Pacific Wren "seems as much a part of the forest floor as the mosses, huckleberry vines, huge logs, and upturned roots of his surroundings."  (Taylor and Shaw 1927)

Note the small size, short bill, and short tail.  Pacific Wrens are only 8-12 cm long (3.5-4.5 inches) — they're the smallest of the wrens.  The tail is often held upright.  With a good look, you can see the buffy supercilium (eyebrow stripe) and barring on the wings, underparts, and tail.

Pacific Wrens are often heard, but less frequently seen.  They tend to prefer forests and are often associated with water (e.g., streams, rivers, bogs, or swamps).  There's not too much of this habitat on Bodega Head, but you can find a little bit in Owl Canyon (along Westshore Road before you get to Campbell Cove).

Pacific Wrens are often on the move — hopping about from log to log, appearing here and there among low shrubs and dense vegetation.  I felt lucky to get a few shots!

Curtis Marantz and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library have provided a wonderful recording of the Pacific Wren's amazing song.

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