Monday, December 22, 2008

Plume Zoom #3, answers revealed

Well, I think it was not a good idea to run a quiz during the holiday season since it did not get much participation. At any rate, I'll go ahead and post the answer.

I know this is a little out of season, but I thought it might make for a good stumper (and I was right about that).

It's a bebeh Carolina Wren!

Look at him... he's all like, "where do I go?!"

One of baby's parental units on a nearby tree.

Isn't he just the cutest? I love his little Don King-wannabe tufts of feathers.

Okay, here's a brief synopsis of the story behind this little darling. It's May 2007, and Dave and I are both outside doing stuff, when I hear this awful squawking coming from the Wren nest under our house. I mean, I've never heard Wrens squawk like this. I assumed there was a snake threatening to invade the nest or something. It took a minute for me to figure out that the parents were ever so gently kicking the nestlings out of their nest. I think this little one must have been the runt of the proverbial litter, because I didn't see him fly much. It's brothers and sisters took off after mommy and daddy as they lured them farther and farther away from the nest, but this baby actually hop-flew-hopped in the OPPOSITE direction. Dave did his part to shoo it back in the right direction, and I think I did my not-so-great part by stressing the little booger out. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing a nestling so close that I pretty much got right on top of it with my camera (thus the fantastic detail in the first photo). Not a smart thing to do, and hopefully I will have enough restraint and respect for the bird if I'm presented with such a situation again. Luckily, after some time, this little one got reunited with its family (at least as far as we could tell).

Unfortunately, there is a sad side to this story. The wren's nest under the house is very close to our dogs' pen, and they were also very interested in all the noise and excitement. So excited that they had to investigate the first baby bird that made it to the ground up close and in person. Needless to say, that baby did not make it. I debated whether or not to include this bit of information in the story, but nature's not always pretty to our eyes and sensibilities, so I thought I should disclose all the information. After the first baby met its untimely demise, we penned the dogs up until we felt sure all the little ones were far enough away to be out of the dogs' reach.
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NW Nature Nut said...

I never would have guessed Carolina Wren since we don't have them here, although we have Bewick's Wrens which look kinda similar. I never get a very good turnout for the quizzes I post. I think people are afraid to guess wrong. Keep them coming, I think they are fun.

Shellmo said...

The baby birds are always such cuties and vulnerable to the world! My neighbor's dog got one of my baby mourning doves after jumping the fence to get to my yard. my neighbor now ties him up in the yard - thank goodness1

RuthieJ said...

I know there are Carolina wrens in Minnesota, but I've never seen one--adult or baby.

A Portland Backyard said...

Yes, definitely keep the quizzes coming. I always seem to miss them somehow, but I'm getting better!

That might be the cutest thing I have ever seen and, I think, it should be illegal to be that cute. Nice captures.

Sorry to hear that the little guy didn't make it, but you are correct, nature's not always pretty to our eyes and sensibilities. And it happened in your yard. That's what these blogs are about. Our yards. Good decision and great post.

Andy said...

I do not see very many but when they come around, it is a treat.

Heather said...

NWNN - I was just reading about the Bewick's Wren, and it looks like they used to be in the east, but their populations in the east declined all throughout the 20th century. They certainly do look very similar. I know you'll always participate in my quizzes, and I appreciate that!

Shelly - It's always sad when our domesticated pets get at the wild birds, but they are only doing what they know by instinct. Our dogs have maimed quite a few white tail deer fawns over the years, and my husband always has to end up putting them out of their misery. It's very hard.

Ruthie - I hope you'll see a Carolina Wren some day. They are very spunky, and have lots of attitude (but without being "mean" to the other birds).

Seth and Michelle - I know you all will always participate in my quizzes, too, and I thank you for that. It was so hard for me not to pick that little cutie up and just kiss it - it's cuteness was definitely punishable by law! ;) Glad you liked it.

Andy - I don't see these Wrens around a whole lot either, but we are almost guaranteed to get one breeding pair somewhere close to our house each spring. I think they are quite fun to watch and listen to.