Annotated checklist and data resource
text © Don Roberson
photos copyrighted by photographer(s) credited
all photos taken in Monterey County, California
Bewick's Wren  Thryomanes bewickii
Bewick's Wren is a common resident of brushy habitats, riparian undergrowth, and chaparral throughout MTY. It is one of those wrens with "personality:" inquisitive, vocal, active, and aggressive. Its loud song is a common background sound when birding this county (the male right was singing loudly from a branch 20' off the ground inside the eucalyptus grove at Moonglow Dairy). This wren has a wide variety of vocalizations. I often tell people that when they hear an unfamiliar bird call in wooded country in MTY, odds are it is either an Oak Titmouse or a Bewick's Wren.

This singing bird at Moonglow Dairy is smack dab in the intergrade zone between "Vigor's Bewick Wren" T.b. spilurus, occurring from Santa Cruz north, and "San Diego Bewick Wren" T.b. correctus from the Salinas Valley south [Alan Phillips considered correctus to be a synonym of charienturus]. It is a mouse-colored wren with a browner back and tail; the northern spilurus race is slightly darker and shorter-tailed than southern birds. At all ages and at all seasons, the prominent white supercilium is a standard field mark.

During our Breeding Bird Atlas project, atlasers estimated the local MTY population at 20,000 pairs. It occurs at all altitudes and everywhere that has a brushy understory, but can be rare or absent in climax Monterey Pine forests on the Peninsula (except where there is sunlight and chaparral). Nesting occurs primarily in April and May, but some females apparently attempt to raise two broods (or else June nests are replacements of prior attempts that failed). Our local birds appear to maintain and defend territories year-round. However, in winter, we get additional birds from populations to the north or east, so some populations elsewhere are decidedly migratory.

The following sequence is of a dust-bathing Bewick's Wren at Andrew Molera SP: right in the middle of the headlands trail on 14 May 2005

Pick a spot to begin . . .

Get your face right down in that dust . . .

Wriggle to form a little depression  . . .

and enjoy the moment. The eyes glaze over . . .

and then you do the 'peacock.'  Ahhhh.

Then pick a new spot for the finale . . .

which we call the 'full monty,' spread-eagled . . .

. . . and then relax, breathing deeply.
Now didn't that look like fun?

WARNING: Professional dust-bather; do not try this at home . . .
or at least not while the neighbors are watching.

Use the following links to other portions of the MTY checklist:

Part 1: Waterfowl through Grebes
Part 2: Albatrosses through Frigatebirds
Part 3: Herons through Cranes
Part 4: Plovers through Sandpipers
Part 5: Jaegers through Alcids
Part 6: Doves through Woodpeckers
Part 7: Flycatchers through Larks
Part 8: Swallows through Pipits
Part 9: Waxwings through Warblers
Part 10: Tanagers through Sparrows
Part 11: Grosbeaks through Finches
or just the plain Checklist (no annotations)
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Page created 4 June 2005