Wren’s song is a melodious multi-noted symphony

The gaily coloured wrens of my childhood imagination look nothing like the mousy brown bird of reality

The wren’s short tail is usually cocked upward.

“’Twas once upon a time, when Jenny Wren was young,

So daintily she danced and so prettily she sung…”

(Nursery rhyme: When Jenny Wren was young)

 

The gaily coloured wrens of my childhood imagination look nothing like the mousy brown bird of reality, but one phrase from the rhyme rings true: the wren’s song is truly a melodious, multi-noted symphony.

Ounce for ounce, the wren delivers more song than any other North American songbird, regardless of season.

No winter nature is complete without the bubbly chattering of a winter wren … arguably winter’s most accomplished singer. One attempt at putting the song on paper looks a bit like: “keree-keree-keree, chair, chair, chair, deedle, deedle, deedle, tur, tur, tur, keree”, “tic-keer.”

One of my most satisfying outdoor experiences was seeing a rock wren gobble down a yellowjacket wasp! It’s easy to love a little bird that dines on wasps, insects and whatever they can snatch from spider webs.

Short in stature, like most wrens, the rock wren is a gray and white streaked, buff-breasted songbird, only 12 cm (5 in.) long, with a short pointed bill and stubby tail. Along the West Coast, the wren family’s year-round residents include the winter wren, Bewick’s wren and marsh wren.

Although wrens aren’t often seen in large numbers, such groups are known by such magical terms as a ‘flight’ or ‘chime’ of wrens.

For their part, rock wrens migrate south in the fall, where they will overwinter at rocky outcrops, rocky cliffs or gravelly bays, to return in springtime to their southern Canadian breeding grounds.

Winter wrens dwell, hidden deep among the rotting snags and dense shrubbery of our forests, near trickling streams. While oft-hidden, these year-round residents make their presence known with masterful songs that ripple through the woodlands.

To hear the winter wren’s lengthy serenade, head down to the Campbell River for your next nature walk; a free feathered concert is almost certainly guaranteed.

NOTE:  Correction to Sept. 29, 2011 (Island Wild). The bald-faced Hhspula maculata), common in BC, is native to North America – it’s the true hornets (Vespa species) that are not.

 

E-mail Christine at: wildernesswest@shaw.ca.

Just Posted

Campbell River supportive living facility celebrates 25 years amid housing crunch

Willow Point Supportive Living Society provides rental units to low-income seniors

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Chili Fest raises funds for Campbell River community group

Jack-o’-lanterns take over Spirit Square during Halloween event

Campbell River RCMP catch youth with stolen handgun

Gun was allegedly stolen in break-and-enter on Dogwood St.

‘Violent’ wanted man possibly in Campbell River – Crime Stoppers

A wanted man is “violent” and “may be in the Campbell River… Continue reading

VIDEO: Campbell River resident captures backyard bears in photos and video

Amateur photographer David Baar, who lives on Chum Rd. in North Campbell… Continue reading

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Most Read