House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
June 23, 2012
Nancy took this image on on our last full day of a 10-day trip led by Brian Rapoza for the Tropical Audubon Society to Trinidad and Tobago. But you don't have to travel 1,600 miles to see one of these birds. They are the most widely distributed bird in the Americas. In North America they can be found anywhere south of middle Canada, although in Florida and the Gulf states they only winter and do not breed. They can be found anywhere in Central and South America year-round. They will be different subspecies, though. This is a Southern House Wren (in the T.a. musculus group), while in Florida one might find a Northern House Wren (from the T.a. aedon group). It has been said they vary more in sound than appearance. To hear the house wren equivalent of a southern drawl, compare in the Wikipedia article.
This is a 4¼ to 5" bird weighing as much as two quarters. They are mostly brown on top and lighter in front, but there is some variability among the subspecies. They are cavity nesters that are fiercely competitive. They eat many types of insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, and moths, and even spiders and snails. They are known to bring in spider egg sacs in while building the nest; when the spiders hatch they help control bird parasites.
Photographic details: Canon EOS 7D camera w/ EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens set at 400mm. Flash was used. Camera was on f/8 for 1/2000 sec at ISO 1000. Exposure was increased 1⅓ stops in post-processing.
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