Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Carolina On My Mind...

When you fancy yourself a steward of nature on your little piece of the world, there are a lot of things to worry about; lately I've been in my near-annual worry-fest about where the Carolina wrens might be. We are at the far northwestern part of their range, and in severe winters they may not survive; this December so far has been brutal, and I'd not seen or heard anything of them since Thanksgiving. Well, this morning as I was out chopping ice off the back walkway, I heard the bright, cheerful -Cherry-Cherry-Cherry- of the Carolina wren, and later he was seen eating peanuts at the bird-feeder... no explanation about his absence was offered. There are times when I feel like my concerns and my ministrations for the critters around here should merit a little more thoughtfulness in return (a simple phone call when you're going to take off for a month might be nice). However, hearing the Carolina wren singing cheerfully from his perch in the tall cottonwood tree is probably reward enough (Carolina wren picture taken by Ken Thomas, reproduced from Wikipedia Common).
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Heh...I worry too. I got very concerned when I only had two orioles last spring instead of the usual 2 mos. of hungry hoards, and they didn't even eat that much! I mean, don't they understand my "clean plate" feeder policy?! How wasteful!
I was fortunate to find your blog when I did a search for "Carolina wren in Iowa". I was surprised to see one at our feeder this past week (in SE Iowa). Before consulting the field guide, I assumed all wrens migrated. I was concerned for it, in such frigid temps and blowing snow.

This past year was the first time we've had Carolina wrens take up residency, and in our garage, no less. Their song caught my attention first. It took some searching to locate him/her, but I love a mystery!

We've also had a red-breasted nuthatch showing up on occasion, much to our delight. He's a newbie to our neighborhood, too. I read they are wintering farther south than their normal range this year. Due to lack of seed supply? Their loss is our gain, it would seem.

Anyway, the return of that Carolina wren was rather serendipitous since it brought me to your blog. You're a gifted writer and I look forward to reading future entries. Thanks for sharing...
Gemma... We've had red-breasted nuthatches this winter, too. I do think they only show up in bad winters (in fact, we've had red-polls this year too.
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