Winter Wrens

When last we saw a Winter Wren in these pages, it was dead and being devoured by a Tufted Titmouse. But I’m sure you didn’t think I’d leave it at that. Here are two Troglodytes hiemalis foraging in proximity. These things are tiny: 0.3 – 0.4 oz (8-12 grams).Insect-eaters, mostly, but they’ll also scarf up juniper and other berries in season.Another day, very near the above location in Green-Wood.Another day, some distance away. There were two here as well. The upturned tail is characteristic.Once lumped with the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), North American populations were split away into two species. The Pacific Wren is T. pacifius. On the 2010 split, from the 51st Supplement to the AOU Checklist of North American birds: “Formerly included in T. troglodytes (Linnaeus 1758)[Eurasian Wren], but here considered specifically distinct on the basis of differences in vocalizations (Kroodsma 1980, Hejl et al. 2002) and mitochondrial DNA (Drovetski et al. 2004). Formerly considered conspecific with T. hiemalis but separated on the basis of the absence of free interbreeding and maintenance of genetic integrity in their contact zone (Toews and Irwin 2008).”

In 2016, the American Ornithologists’ Union changed its own name on merging with the Cooper Ornithological Society and is now the American Ornithological Society (AOS).

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