Winter Wren

Hey guys, welcome back! Today, a bird whose identification still kind of trips me up. That’s right, even good birders have those “trouble” species that give them trouble. For me, its the Winter Wren. They just look a lot like a House Wren to me. I mean, you look at these two birds and tell me they don’t look alike!  They’re both rotund little brown birds! In general, the Winter Wren is more uniformly brown. They also have a slightly shorter bill (though it’s nearly impossible to tell that unless you’re looking at specimens side by side) and their tail is a bit shorter.

Winter Wren2
Winter Wren near an old nest, Central Park, NY

Another good way to tell is when and where you’re seeing the bird. The Winter Wren is found only east of the Rocky Mountains (except up in Canada), and are only really found in the U.S. in, you guessed it, winter, and breed further north in the summer. So, seeing a drab wren in the east in winter, usually means it’s a Winter Wren. But, be careful because there is an overlap between when the House Wrens arrive and when the Winter Wrens depart in spring.

Like most wrens, the Winter Wren’s song is loud. Wrens are some of the loudest birds, pound for pound, in the world. And if you think the Winter and House wrens look similar, wait until you see the Pacific Wren. In fact, they were considered the same species for a long time. They were split in 2010. The only real way to tell the two apart is their song, which differs. Join me next time for another brown bird, with a… bright blue bill!? Ruddy Duck up next! See You then!

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