There are about 80 species of wrens in 20 genera worldwide.  Wrens are mainly a New World Family, distributed from Alaska and Canada to southern Argentina, with most in the Neotropics.  There are 10 wren species in North America, which brings me to the featured photo: the Canyon Wren.  Last weekend J, the pups, and I headed out to find a bird I had not seen, the Canyon Wren.  Kaja is my good luck charm for finding birds and she gave her lick of approval that we would find the wren.  The wren was first sighted at Coyote Lake in Santa Clara County in Nov-2014 (ebird.org) and over the last couple of days.  Thanks to the good directions for ebird posts we found the location but no bird.  We walked around watching the swallows and White-throated Swift fly within a few feet of us and at eye level when I heard the downward call of the Canyon Wren.  It was in the parking lot and was hopping from car to car until he finally hopped up onto the rocks on the dam face.  The photo below was taken within 10m of the bird.  He was very cooperative and seemed to pose for me first facing me then turning so his back was to me.  I like this photo because it captures the bird in action as he looked around between singing that great song.

Featured Photo 22: Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus) EQ: D800 f/2.8 300mm    Taken: 4-25-15 10:38 at Coyote Lake, Santa Clara (CA) Setting: 300mm, f/3.5, 1/1600s, ISO450     Condition: Sunny

Featured Photo 22: Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus)

EQ: D800 f/2.8 300mm    Taken: 4-25-15 10:38 at Coyote Lake, Santa Clara (CA)

Setting: 300mm, f/3.5, 1/1600s, ISO450     Condition: Sunny

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus) Taken: 4-25-15 10:37 at Coyote Lake 1/1600, ISO400, f/3.5

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus)

Taken: 4-25-15 10:37 at Coyote Lake

1/1600, ISO400, f/3.5

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus) Taken: 4-25-15 10:38 at Coyote Lake 1/1250, ISO400, f/3.5

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus)

Taken: 4-25-15 10:38 at Coyote Lake

1/1250, ISO400, f/3.5

The Rock Wren can be found along the California coast and I first found one in San Mateo County at Devil's Slide.  I used my 300mm f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter for both captures below.  This wren is not common along the coast and the one I found at the University California Santa Cruz Farm area wintered over and was a regular when I visited the area.

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) Taken: 4-19-14 9:06 at Devils Slide 1/800, ISO900, f/7.1, 500mm

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)

Taken: 4-19-14 9:06 at Devils Slide

1/800, ISO900, f/7.1, 500mm

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) Taken: 11-19-14 9:41 at UCSC Farm 1/1000, ISO720, f/8, 500mm

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)

Taken: 11-19-14 9:41 at UCSC Farm

1/1000, ISO720, f/8, 500mm

The Pacific Wren is a fairly common wren for Santa Cruz if you are in the right habitat.  The redwood State Parks are good places to find them but the lighting is usually very low making it challenging to capture the bird without movement blur.  Both the photos below I used my 300mm f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus) Taken: 2-22-14 10:15 at Henry Cowell SP 1/500, ISO1600, f/4.8, 500mm

Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)

Taken: 2-22-14 10:15 at Henry Cowell SP

1/500, ISO1600, f/4.8, 500mm

Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus) Taken: 4-21-14 13:57 at Big Basin SP 1/250, ISO1600, f/4.8, 500mm

Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus)

Taken: 4-21-14 13:57 at Big Basin SP

1/250, ISO1600, f/4.8, 500mm

The most common wren in Santa Cruz and the coast is the Bewick's Wren and it can be found in almost every habitat.  This is an interesting bird in that it is very approachable and has so many calls and songs the SC Bird Club's running joke is that was call 647 or pick your own favorite number.

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) Taken: 12-5-14 10:04 at Natural Bridges SB 1/500, ISO1600, f/2.8, 300mm

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Taken: 12-5-14 10:04 at Natural Bridges SB

1/500, ISO1600, f/2.8, 300mm

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) Taken: 12-5-14 10:04 at Natural Bridges SB 1/500, ISO1600, f/2.8, 300mm

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Taken: 12-5-14 10:04 at Natural Bridges SB

1/500, ISO1600, f/2.8, 300mm

The Marsh Wren is another common bird if you are in the right habitat.  Like all wrens I have seen, they have a very loud and complex song and we only hear a very small part of that complexity because when the song is slowed down you can then hear the the little guys are saying.

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) Taken: 5-16-14 11:40 at Watsonville Slough 1/1600, ISO640, f/6.3, 500mm

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)

Taken: 5-16-14 11:40 at Watsonville Slough

1/1600, ISO640, f/6.3, 500mm

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) Taken: 2-12-15 8:24 at Baldwin Creek 1/1600, ISO250, f/6.3, 300mm

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)

Taken: 2-12-15 8:24 at Baldwin Creek

1/1600, ISO250, f/6.3, 300mm

In the Monterey Bay area and surrounding counties, the House Wren is fairly common and I have seen them numerous times but it has been a hard one for me to photograph.  The Sedge Wren has been seen in Half Moon Bay but that was back in 2002 so it is very rare for the area.  So seven (7) wrens have been seen in the area and the other 3 are the Winter Wren, which was recently split with the Pacific Wren being the western species.  The Carolina Wren can be found along the east coast into the mid-west and the Cactus Wren is native of the Southwest.  I'm still searching for more wrens but with 80 world wide and 10 in North America I'll need to expand my search outside Santa Cruz County.

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.

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