Documentation of Carolina Wren

Observer Information

Reporter:  Bill Maynard  1390 Farnham Pt. # 205,   COLORADO SPRINGS, CO  80904-5215
Other Observers:  solo; Found originally by Rich Miller. This bird has been heard by many, seen, at least so far, by few.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Carolina Wren
First Date/Time:  3/12/2007
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  30 minutes
County:  Fremont
Specific Location:  Canon City Riverwalk, upriver less than 1/4 mile from the Raynolds Bridge on the river's right bank.
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Riparian area with grassy meadow nearby. Plains Cottonwood overstory with unidentified dense shrubby understory.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Leica 77mm APO spotting scope with 32 x WW lens.
Distance:  I walked very slowly, stopping many times and got within 50 feet of the bird.
Light:  Good. I moved around so that I could get the light over my shoulder.

Description of the Bird

Large rufous-backed wren with longish downcurved bill. Bill grayish and lighter on the mandible than on its maxillae. Breast a warm buffy color contrasting nicely with the rufous crown, back, wings, and tail.

Strong whitish supercillium extending a good distance behind the dark eye. Tail longish and rounded with dark barring on both sides. Tail held angled down past the horizontal while the bird was singing. Face was grissled with grayish faint scallops. Throat a dirty whitish gray. Wings rufous with two or three indistinct rows of whitish spots.
Behaviors: Bird was perched on a small shrub up about 10-15 feet singing. I accidentally flushed it once, and after about 3 minutes the bird started to forage in a dense tangle only about one foot off of the ground. Spent most of the time singing with its head angled upwards and its tail angled downward.
Call: yes singing its characteristic "teakettle, teakettle..." song
Plumage: alternate

Similar Species Discussion

Bewick's Wren - Western Bewick's Wren has a strong supercillium but has a grayish back and lacks buff on its breast and belly. BEWR also cocks its tail freqently and has a lot of buzzy notes in its song.

Rock Wren has a different song and has the police whistle calls and has a non-distinct supercillium and uses totally different habitat, and has a creamier or less buff breast. Also ROWR's back has some gray blending to rufous, unlike this bird.

Canyon Wren almost is never found in riparian habitat except I have seen one before in CA in riparian. Canyon Wren has a gleaming white chin and throat that contrast with a rufous, not buff, belly and breast. CARW lacks the contrasting white throat

Resources Used

I did look up BEWR in the 5th edition of NGS to be sure that the western races never approached the colors of this bird.

Previous Experience

Some but not a lot. Have seen the Lamar birds in different years. I have seen this species mostly in TX.



Additional Information

Comments: I have more photos if they are desired
Time: 9:30 AM DST
Other Dates: sometime in January I heard this bird singing but I never did see it.
Nearest Town: Canon City
Independent Observers: Found originally by Rich Miller. This bird has been heard by many, seen, at least so far, by few.

Materials Available

Photographer: billmaynard

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

3/12/2007 3:44:00 PM
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