Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Wrens
 
 
 

TRAITS
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Totipalmate Swm

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Pici
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PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
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 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
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 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
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 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
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 Leaf-Warblers
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 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

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Passeriformes, Oscines, Passerida, Sylviioidea - Wrens
 
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Passerida, Sylviioidea
Families: Wrens, Gnatcatchers
 
Images:   
Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
   Suborder Passeres - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
Wiki     ToL
  Passerines. Most passerines are smaller than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one (the hallux) backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest.  Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines, Suborder Passeres, are our "song birds" with complex syringeal muscles used to produce varied and complex vocalizations.
Passerida. Radiation in Eurasia, Africa and North America (with later colonization of South America). Passerida have two humeral fossae (Corvida have one).
Sylviioidea - drab, monomorphic sleek passerines, centered in Indo-Pacific areas.
 
  Family Troglodytidae – Wrens
Wiki     EoL
EXAMPLE
  75 (80, 77) species, 16 (17) genera. New World species. Only the Winter (Holoarctic) Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes (Wiki) occurs in the Old World - it likely crossed from Alaska to Asia and spread east to England where it is a common garden bird. There it is known as "The Wren."
   Wrens are small, compact passers with short wings and a thin, down-curved bill. Their plumage is usually dull colored with brown or rufous hues, often barred, spotted or streaked, and with lighter under-parts. They have compact plumage. Their tail varies from relatively long to short - in our familiar wrens it is long and is often held upright (cocked). Wrens usually have 10 primaries and the wing is rounded. The hallux is as long as the longest lateral toe - usually the outer toe. Sexes are alike (monmorphic) and the juvenile plumage is similar to that of adults. The juvenal plumage is unspotted and there is a single molt. Rictal bristles are absent or vestigial. Their tarsi are “booted.” They have double humeral fossae.   
   Wrens have long bills that they use to probe into crevices. They are thicket-dwellers (some live in rocks or marshes). They are mainly insectivorous. They forage actively, hopping is brushes, clasping tree trunks, running on the ground.
   Wrens are highly territorial. Most wrens nest in cavities or crevices or build a domed structure with a side entrance. "Troglodytes" are cave dwellers - wrens are named for their domed nest. Males may build several nests - the female selects one, finishes it, and then lays and incubates 3-9 eggs for ~16 days. Males may roost in a cock nest. They rarely incubate but will feed the incubating female and help care for the young. Chicks fledge in 16-18 days and receive continued care for another 2 weeks or so. Wrens are multi-brooded and some are polygamous. Some tropical wrens breed cooperatively with "helpers" taking part in feeding the young. Many species have 2 broods per season.
   Many males build extra nests - this gives the female a selection (and might entice a second mate) and provides a roosting nest for him. Additionally, the presence of dummy nests may discourage predators who find most nests empty?
   Wrens generally have loud, ringing songs which they repeat frequently. They may also sing during migration and through the winter. In the Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus, the male and female may sing a simple and disorganized duet - this becomes ritualized in some tropical wrens with the two singing only parts that form a continuous whole...
   My favorite wren is the Canyon Wren, Catherpes mexicanus (Cornell) found in the west. It produces a cascading series of clear whistles that echo around the cliffs in which they nest. I also grew up with the House Wren, Troglodytes aedon (Wiki) and miss its rolling, happy song... We now have one living across the street from us in Clemson at the southern edge of its expanding breeding range, and joining us at our feeder for suet on occasion. Look for them on Seabrook in the winter.
 
Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren,
Thyothorus ludovicianus.
Clemson
                             SI Web

 
 
  Family Polioptilidae – Gnatcatchers, Gnatwrens
Wiki     EoL
EXAMPLE
  (15 (15) species, 4 (3) genera (Ramphocaenus (Wiki), Microbates (Wiki), Polioptila (Wiki))  New World – most are tropical or sub-tropical (our Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea, nests north into Canada). Gnatcatchers may be included with the creepers.
   These are small, slender insectivorous birds with a thin bill and a longe, narrow tail. They moving nervously about in foliage, often cocking their tail. They look like Old World warblers. Gnatcatchers feed in a variety of habitats – ranging from arid dry scrub to tropical canopies. Gnatwrens are found in dense undergrowth of humid forests in the Neotropics. They are insectivores and are often found in pairs.
   They build a small cup nest and lay 2-6 eggs. Incubation requires 11-14 days and the young remain in the nest for 10-16 Days. Both parents care for the young and they may remain with their parents for a period after fledging as a family group,
   
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
Polioptila caerulea
.
Francis Beidler Forest
                           SI Web
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



   
  Banner - Carolina Wren. CLemson, SC.