Sunday, August 2, 2009

A homely little House Wren? (BPW #49)

Birding Hocking Hills in Southeastern Ohio
This little bird was anything but homely when he started singing, and when you add in mama and three juveniles, you really have a show! While I was watching Common Yellowthroats in the meadow in front of me, a family of House Wrens started acting up in the trees along the bank of Clear Creek behind me. They were all making a clamor, singing and shaking and flitting all over the place, cute—and noisy—as can be.

"I'm a wren...and I love to sing...and I have
such a pretty song, so I'll sing some more!"

"But I can also make a ruckus with non-stop
scolding...and it's not quite as pretty!"

In Lang Elliot’s book “Music of the Birds, a Celebration of Birdsong,” Elliot includes a quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from his epic poem “Evangeline” (1847) that he feels could have been written about the song of a House Wren (in the poem, Longfellow attributes the song to a mockingbird):
“…from a neighboring thicket the wildest of singers, swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung over the water, shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music that the whole air and woods and waves seemed silent to listen.”
Standing about 15 feet from this little family, I was amazed at how much noise they could make. I think Longfellow's poem better describes a House Wren too. With all their singing, shaking, and moving all around, they were very fun to watch!




Mama and papa had taught the babies well, because the entire family was gleaning insects and spiders from the undersides of leaves, but every now and then papa would feed a baby still.

"I see...a spider!"

...perfect insect-gleaning form!

28 comments:

Elaine said...

Very cute series of photos! I think I like the last one best. Such a busy little guy.

I've been seeing several different birds with their babies in my back yard this week. I got some good shots of the chickadees on Friday but when they flitted across our deck today I wasn't ready for them. They seem to pass through in waves.

mick said...

That's a great series of photos and I enjoyed your commentary about the birds too.

Jayne said...

So sweet! I love to see the babies learning how to catch. :c)

The Early Birder said...

Charming...could watch these antics for hours.
Our Wren utters one of the loudest calls (up to 80 seperate notes in a matter of seconds) - marvellous achievement for such a small bird.

BirdingMaine said...

Outstanding series of photos of the House Wren!

We don't see them in this part of Maine although we do see the Winter Wren.

ShySongbird said...

What great photos, they really sum up the energy of the little bird. I loved the Longfellow quote too.

Roy said...

Cool shots, Kelly! We have these little guys all year round, but in the summer we also get Carolina Wrens and Marsh Wrens. I've managed to get shots of both of those types, but the Huse Wrens always elude me.

Mary said...

Great series! Glad to see what the youngsters look like, since I am awaiting some from my gourd birdhouse. I see the parent taking in food very regularly, so I think they are hatched. Wrens do have the most amazing songs and so loud!

Montanagirl said...

Very sweet series! Nice photo work.

Connie said...

Beautiful photographs! Your post just brightens my day.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so cute. I love him!!!
I wish he could eat the spiders I find in my bathroom in the middle of the night!!!

Tabib said...

Lovely Wren series!

Abraham Lincoln said...

It is hard for me to get a distinctive definition of darks against lights on House Wrens. For some reason it is just as elusive as anything I can't seem to get right. You seem to have managed on these nice shots. I blamed it on the weather but not sure that did it. Anyway, the last batch was with the Canon Lens and not the 400mm Sigma and it seems to work better.

Jenny said...

Great bunch of photos Kelly. I have a fondness for Wrens as you might imagine! (-: I agree with Elaine I like the last one best. A great pose!

Larry said...

Excellent House Wren captures Kelly! Amazing actually given their propensity for quick movements and lack of staying in one spot very long.

The first shot is my favorite. Singing his little heart out.

holdingmoments said...

Lovely shots Kelly, and such a coincidence; I was watching some young Wrens here at the weekend.
They certainly have powerful voices for such tiny birds.

Roy said...

Lovely little bird Kelly and great shots you have taken. It is similar to our Wren.

JKoenig said...

I enjoy wrens. They just sing and sing and sing some more. Cute pictures!

Randy Emmitt said...

Kelly,

Enjoyed the photos, such a cute bird. But why do you post your photos as .png? It took my slow computer 10 mins to load them. Png makes the images about 4 times larger in bandwidth than .jpg. So you'll run out of space at blogger 4 times faster too.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Such cute little birds with big personalities.

Nature As Is said...

Oh Wow!! Never seen a bird like this one before. I know we have house Wren's where we live, but I have run across one yet..when I do by george I'm going to get the shot!!

NW Nature Nut said...

What a cutie pie! Love those guys.

Hilke Breder said...

Kelly, I love reading your posts. The quotes and observations that you include make want to go to my bookshelf to do some looking up and reading. Nice shots too!

Cindy said...

These are great close ups. They sure can make a racket. I was watching a nesting pair feed their babies one day when the adults starting making such a racket. When i put down the camera i saw my sister's cat slinking closer.

Kelly said...

Thanks, everyone.......these cute little fellows speak for themselves

Randy...Yikes...10 minutes is not good. I use .png because I love the quality and color it retains. I'm really into color, and because I compress the images down so small, I needed to retain that color. I'll look into it.

Hilke....I have so many bird books it's ridiculous. I love reading them too!

Kelly said...

Cindy....haha.....I guess a cat would make them cause a racket!!

Midmarsh John said...

A beautiful set of photos of the House Wren.

Ginnymo said...

What a cute little bird. I have been seeing a tiny bird around that looks similar to this. Not sure what it is. You sure got some nice photos Kelly!!