Something I Noticed While In The Desert

desert birdie

Cousin Michael has decided to become a birder. He was on-the-lookout for birds as we walked in Red Rock. As I mentioned earlier, we found one.

I wanted to come back to this bird (Click the photo to see a larger view) because he/she&#185 received a generous serving of evolutionary help. In real life she is as well camouflaged as any animal I’ve seen. She looks like the rocks she frequents!

We’re not sure what she is. Michael says Canyon Wren. I say Rock Wren. They’re both native to the Southwest. Neither Michael nor I are qualified to make a definitive call. Our opinions are based on web knowledge.

This shot was taken from fifteen feet. It’s cropped, meaning the bird fills more of the frame than she did when the shutter clicked. I didn’t have a long lens with me.

She was hopping from rock-to-rock, sometimes ducking in the little spaces between two. When she flew, it was low and not very far.

Like so much else on the desert, she favors gray.

&#185 – Wikipedia says “There is no sexual dimorphism in the plumage of wrens, and little difference between young birds and adults.” That means you can’t tell the sexes apart by look alone.

3 thoughts on “Something I Noticed While In The Desert”

  1. Geoff, I think your guess is correct. I looked both wren’s up in my Audobon Society Field Guide to NA birds. Their picture of the Rock Wren matches yours.. Here is what they write–
    “A sparrow size wren,pale greyish brown with a finely streaked breast.Whitish or buff tips to the outer tail feathers.
    Range–Br.Columbia ,Saskatchewan and No Dakota to the mountains of Costa Rica. Winters from Calif and TX southward.
    **This species is found in much of the same habitat as its relative the Canyon Wren, but is more common to rocky slopes, while the Canyon wren favors sheer cliffs. The Rock Wren has the unusual habit of laying down a patch of small pebbles in front of its nest; this little pavement often simplifies an observers effort to locate a nest. Song is a dry trill–a rhythmic series of musical notes—-chewee,chewee,chewee.
    Hope this helps.

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