Thursday, December 06, 2007

Solved!: Mystery of the Carolina Wren

Here is how the bird correspondent responded to our recent query: "Assuming this bird is not the size of a softball but smaller, more like a golf ball, you've got a Carolina wren. I could tell you that by the behavior alone: Carolina wrens are very bold around people and prone to nesting in all sorts of crazy places, like inside active mailboxes, or in the pocket of a coat left outside. My parents had a nest in their garage, even though the automatic door was going up and down all day and the birds were locked in at night. They really don't care. They have a very loud song and a distinctive white stripe over the eye." I wrote back to the dear bird correspondent to say that our bird was certainly puffed out to a size larger than a golf ball. Also, a quick "Google image search" for the Carolina wren did not produce anything that looked familiar. When, however, I ran across this document ("click" here) I knew that the bird correspondent was right again. The puffy bird represented thereon - and labeled "Carolina wren" - is certainly our bird. The bird correspondent had this to say about today's developments: "You've been doing an excellent job of describing a Carolina wren. I can't think of a rounder bird or one with a pointier beak, and you've got the colors right. They have perky, stubby little tails that often stand straight up. When it's cold, they will puff up and look rounder and bigger. Maybe baseballish? But it's all feathers. They can actually squoosh down small enough to sneak through a loose spot at the bottom of the garage door that you wouldn't think a mouse could get through." I can't find a Google image that adequately portrays our Carolina wren - they all look so puny! - so you will have to "click" on the chart above to get a sense of the wonder of it all.