A few weeks ago I was working out in the garden and noticed a small bird flutter into the garden. It was a Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii). This bird didn’t look like the Bewick’s Wrens I was used to seeing. It was more mottled looking than others I had seen. It wasn’t very active and appeared to be molting. I believe the bird pictured above (click on photos for full sized images) is possibly a young bird going through its prejuvenal molt.
A century ago, the Bewick’s Wren was beloved as the “house wren” of the Appalachians and the Midwest. Today, the species has all but disappeared east of the Mississippi River and has declined in western parts of its range, most likely caused by the expansion of the House Wren which destroys and removes their eggs from nest sites1.
This is what I am used to seeing. In the Spring, when the male Bewick’s Wren sings to establish a territory. You can hear his cheerful song here.
A brighter, more cinnamon color and a more distinct white eyebrow.
I don’t know. Maybe this is simply a molting adult? What do you think?
Here’s a shot of him under the zucchini plants picking aphids off the leaves.
And finally, a view of the springtime Bewick’s Wren at the end of his photo shoot!
References: 1Birds of North America Online