Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I went out looking for molting Bobolinks, but found a Sedge Wren instead…not a bad tradeoff!

Sunday evening found me at VOA park walking the clipped grass aisle of the high meadow. There was a cool chill in the air more reminiscent of September than the first of August, and as I shivered just a bit, I heard the chatty little song of a Sedge Wren just to the right of the grass path. I also heard two Henslow’s Sparrows in the same area, but I knew they were not popping up any time soon, so I stalked the Sedge Wren instead, narrowing in on him with each repetition of his little song. He would sing, and move…and sing and move, and suddenly, there he was! I fired off a few quick shots, but he had a very annoying habit of diving back down into the grass and perching near the base of the vegetation (bad little Sedgie!).

A very sweet bird, and a bit of a rarity around here.

The grassland habitat at VOA park brings in so
many birds lost to the never ending suburban sprawl.
Thank goodness little pockets of protected land exist
so we can get a glimpse of these cute birds.

This little guy is cute—no other word will do to describe his choppy, spritely little movements. Short bursts of flight always carried him to his next perch, where he would sing, peer here and there, and then dive back down in the grass to hide from the camera.

"Hmm...that stalk over there looks nice. I had
better head over and claim it. Then I'll dive back
into the grass to annoy the camera chick."

Little Sedgie hiding in the grass where he spent
most of his time. A perfect little grassland bird, he
completely melds with his environment.

Beak Bit
We are on the eastern-most range of this little bird. Sedge Wrens are also very nomadic, so they don’t always return to the same nesting grounds; therefore, we don’t always get to see them. So this little fellow is special. They can also be late nesters, so our singing male, may be setting up shop and advertising for a female. I hope so! I’ll keep returning to see if more Sedge Wrens have located in the high meadows at VOA. In the Great Plains, Sedge Wrens nest earlier, breeding in May or June. Jim McCormac, in his book “Birds of Ohio,” offers an explanation for our later-nesting birds, “It’s possible that there is a postbreeding dispersal of western birds to the east, where they nest again when midwestern habitats are more conducive to successful breeding.”

33 comments:

Tom said...

Great find Kelly. I've never seen one of these little guys, knowingly at least.

flyingstars said...

WoW...some very beautifully captured shots!

Kelly said...

...thanks, Tom! Head on down. I hope more show up.

flyingstars...thanks!

HBFG said...

What a cute little bird!
Great Pictures of him too...

I wish I could come "over" to you and have a couple of yoga lessons from you, I would really like that! :))
I have the strong feeling that you are a very good teacher!
Michi

holdingmoments said...

Good stalking Kelly. A lovely little chap.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I suppose they are just as vocal as other wrens which makes finding them all the more rewarding. Nice post. Very informative.

I am still making history on my Pick a Peck of Pixels blog. Today I posted a Zebra Butterfly with long tails. He is as big as your hand. Most have never seen one. Now you can see one at
Pick a Peck of Pixels

Laure Ferlita said...

What an intriguing pattern on his feathers! Our little wrens only seem to touches of pattern and he's all decked out! Very cool little guy!

forestal said...

wonderful shots - never seen one myself

dan

Dave Lewis said...

Who's the lucky girl!

DK Miller said...

He is cute! Nice photos.

Jayne said...

No matter the species of wren, there is that spunky little tail. :c) He's such a treat Kelly.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

What a special treat! Of course I adore all wrens—but this fellow is both uncommon and cute. Great post and photos.

Montanagirl said...

How cute! I've never seen one of those. Nice photo work, Kelly!

ShySongbird said...

What a lovely (and rather cheeky looking :)) little bird. Very well captured Kelly.

Cindy said...

Great looking bird. I love the pattern/markings.

Kelly said...

Michi...thank you! I love teaching yoga. It really helps every aspect of life.

Keith...thanks :-)

Abe...they are vocal, but he song is not as pretty...shorter...buzzy almost.

Laure...these images are super cropped, so his color is actually prettier. I was on the trail and he was in the grass....just a touch too far away.

forestal....thank you!

Dave....I am! ...and anyone who goes to VOA. I hope more arrive. I'll keep looking...

DK...thank you! (not bad or Super Cropped!)

Jayne....I love that tail....spunky is perfect!

Scribe...thank you. Why do we always go for the uncommon. I know I do. He is special (all birds are), but I just don't get to see this guy very often!

Mona...thank you!

Songbird...haha! He is definitely cheeky!! Very fun in the field... thanks!

Kelly said...

Cindy.....I like the patterns too. He is adorable moving through the grasses and reads. the colors definitely help him blend in. If he didn't sing all the time, I would never have seen him.

Craig Glenn said...

Nice shots K! Love the story too.

Craig Glenn

Steve B said...

Good for you for getting the shots. Wrens can be quite shy. They'll sit deep in the brush and chatter at you just to let you know who's boss.

Tammie Lee said...

I have found taking pics of birds it not all that easy. Perhaps one has to understand them better than I do. Kelly, your photos are always a pleasure to see. You capture them in a way that shares inside views of their life. I really enjoy this peak.

Shelley said...

So many cute poses from the Wren in your photos! They are so fun to watch!

Elaine said...

Bad little sedgie, indeed! Didn't he know that you were tyring to take his photo? You managed to capture him beautifully anyway. He is such a cute little guy. I really like the first photo.

Anna said...

Kelly that was not a bad trade off. Now I have to evaluated my bird list, because I have seen similar one thinking it was a song bird. Nice post as always, love the images. Anna :)

JKoenig said...

What a cutie! Great pictures..

Nick S said...

Lovely pics Kelly. Funnily enough I thought I heard a Sedge Wren today, but didn't nail down the ID enough to put it on my year list.
Nice catching up with your blog :-)

Mary said...

Glad you chased it down...very cute little wren. You got some wonderful shots.

Eric Ripma said...

Beautiful shots of the Sedge Wren. They can be so hard to see let alone photograph.

ShantanuDas said...

the 2n one is the best shot!!.... What lens did you use? really a good blog -- informative too!!

Hua said...

Hello Kelly,

Amazing pictures! I've never seen one for myself.

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dAwN said...

Great trade off! I would take it anyday.

Emma Anderson said...

So that's a Bobolink. It's lovely, Kelly. The Gershwins mention a Bobolink in one of their songs, Meadow Serenade from Strike up the Band of 1927:
"I hear the rustle of the trees
From the nearby thickets,
Where the oriole is calling
And the Bobolink is falling
For his mate"

Emma Anderson said...

Silly me! I thought that bird looked suspiciously like a wren. I can't find a bobolink immediately on your blog but I'll keep looking.

RuthieJ said...

Aren't they the cutest little birds? Your pictures are great!
I actually got a video of one last summer singing his little heart out. They have such a snappy little song.