Documentation of Carolina Wren

Observer Information

Reporter:  Nathan Pieplow  5902 Gunbarrel Ave Apt C,   BOULDER, CO  80301
Other Observers:  SeEtta Moss, Brandon Percival, Mymm Ackley; I don't know who found the bird originally.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Carolina Wren
First Date/Time:  4/25/2007
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  about 5 minutes total
County:  Fremont
Specific Location:  At the 1/4 mile marker on the Bluff Trail, Canon City Riverwalk
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Brushy slope above the riverwalk in a cut-over area between stretches of mature deciduous forest; I believe the area just over the crest of the hill is a residential neighborhood.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Eagle Optics 8x42 binoculars
Distance:  ca. 100 feet
Light:  Light was very low to the west; bird was to the south in shade, but still reasonably well lit from the side.

Description of the Bird

We saw the bird perched up singing on a low cut-over stump. It was larger and chunker-bodied than a House Wren, but smaller than a Song Sparrow; its tail was medium-long and brown. It had a solid rufous back and warm buffy underparts. When it turned its head I could see a distinct white supercilium running from above the bill to well behind the eye, contrasting strongly with the darker brown crown and the dark line through the eye. The bill was long and thin, maybe barely decurved.
Behaviors: The bird sang from an exposed perch about 4 feet off the ground on a cut-over brushy slope with mature deciduous forest and edge habitats in the immediate vicinity.
Call: Bird sang several times during the 45 minutes that I was in the area. Its first song was a strict monotone series of three-noted contiguous high clear musical whistled phrases, the first note of each phrase highest and the second lowest, in a classic "teakettle-teakettle" pattern; the phrases were repeated 4-6 times at ca. 2/sec. The bird sang in this fashion a number of times, then fell silent. Later it sang a similar strict monotone series of whistled phrases, but these phrases were two-noted, the first note higher, a repeated "peter-peter-peter" at ca. 3/sec for 2-3 sec.
Plumage: adult

Similar Species Discussion

Bewick's Wren is similar, but not as chunky, with a longer tail, and without the rufous tones on the back or (especially) below. Song of Bewick's Wren is also completely different, recalling Song Sparrow much more than Carolina Wren.

Resources Used


Previous Experience

I have a lot of experience with Carolina Wren, especially after my 2-week Ivory-billed Woodpecker search in Arkansas in March/April 2006, where I heard them hundreds of times each day and saw dozens.



Additional Information

Time: 6:30 PM
Other Dates: Bird has been seen here for several months. Possibly up to two more along the riverwalk on this day, fide SeEtta Moss, Mark Peterson, et al.
Nearest Town: Canon City
Independent Observers: I don't know who found the bird originally.

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

4/27/2007 4:34:00 PM