This House Wren Lives in the Great Ontario Wilderness Somewhere

I’ve wanted to see a wren all spring. Everyone else sees wrens. I’ve even been on guided Nature Walks where everyone else is pointing and exclaiming and I still couldn’t see the wren. Partly I’m incompetent and partly they are difficult to spot.

Wrens often like to forage and feed under cover. They will poke about under tangles of exposed roots, fallen branches and knotted grape vines. They often rummage through dead leaves and can be a bit noisy about it. What they don’t do well is stay still.

Photo of House Wren Wing Leg on NaturalCrooksDotCom

Knowing this behaviour taught me to stop and start shooting photos with my Nikon D5100 whenever I see or hear a possible bird. That’s lead me to spend an incredibly long time taking photos of Song Sparrows. Of course, after 15 minutes of desperately trying to manually focus through an impenetrable wall of tangled twigs, the Song Sparrows almost always dart up to the top of an exposed nearby tree and start singing lustily, while shooting a sort-of “fooled you” sneer down their beaks at me.


Photo of Song Sparrow Rattray Marsh Mississauga ON March

So imagine my “here we go again” dull enthusiasm when I spotted something small and brown poking about under a tangle of roots and dead leaves in Lakeside Park, Mississauga while I was watching warblers. I pointed and clicked and gave up on autofocus and squinted and twisted the lens and fired again.

To my surprise I saw some little white dots. For some reason, they always remind me of the little dots you can get on a browned meringue on top of a pie. To me, they suggest Wren.

Photo of House Wren Head on NaturalCrooksDotCom

With growing interest, I focused and snapped again. Yes, no, maybe?!

Photo of House Wren on NaturalCrooksDotCom

And in reward for all those other pointless shoots, this little wee Wren stopped just long enough between hidey-holes for me to get a few quick out of focus photos.
Then it darted off in flight to the next clump of vegetation leaving me well behind.
I didn’t mind though. I was still glowing from my first successful Wren watch.
At home I looked up what kind of Wrens we get in Mississauga either year round or on migration. They seem to be Winter Wrens, House Wrens and Carolina Wrens. I actually have seen Carolina Wrens several times at bird feeders so I knew it wasn’t one of those.

Photo of House Wren Stretched on NaturalCrooksDotCom

If my keying out is correct, this little brown bird was a House Wren. Lakeside Park is in an industrial and agricultural area. The nearest house is about 2 km away and it’s not standing in a subdivision. So I think perhaps this wren should be re-named. I’ll call it a Spotted (It) Wren.

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Do you have Wrens in your House? The one I saw NEVER lifted its tail straight up like in all the photos. Please share your experiences with Wrens with a comment.

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