My Life’s Birds: #176
April 18, 1994 – Christian Co, Mo – There’s a very small subset of birds that I would find back in my younger days in Missouri that are very hard, or even impossible, to find now that I’m out in North Carolina. And there’s one in particular that I was even lucky to find back in the day, as it’s population has declined fairly substantially in the days since I first found it, at least in Missouri.
I was familiar with Carolina Wrens, those most common and conspicuous members of a family that’s, with few exceptions, pretty common and conspicuous. Southwest Missouri was getting to the extreme northwest extension of their range, and right on the border of their overlap with a similar wren of drier, more open habitats, the Bewick’s Wren. I remember the hand-wringing that went along with this bird’s identification, the careful inspection of the field marks to differentiate the bird from the all too similar Carolina. My dad and I eventually decided that we’d seen enough to make the call, and so we did.
In the time since that Bewick’s Wren was seen, Carolinas have increased their population, pushing out the Bewick’s in Missouri to the point where the bird is somewhat noteworthy anymore. I certainly have very little experience with the bird since then, moving beyond it’s regular range. But the bird still counts, and a trip west will likely find me face to face again someday.
photo from wikipedia