April 27th, 2020: And the migrants keep pouring in…
Things are still picking up at QE Park. I was there again today (big surprise) and managed to relocate a House Wren that had been seen briefly the day before.
It sang for me from the bushes and never made an appearance. And it only sang twice, so I couldn’t even get a recording. Oh well. I got pretty used to these guys out in Minnesota over the past couple of years. In MN, they easily outnumber the other wrens. In Vancouver, they’re rare.
Our most common wren, and a year-round vocalizer, is the Pacific Wren. But we also have Bewick’s and Marsh Wrens, who make themselves known in the spring. Wrens sure can sing. While our Pacific Wrens have the longest song around, the Marsh and Bewick’s still belt out their shorter songs. All of these birds can be heard easily from quite a distance, as their effusive, energetic, chattering songs emanate from Pacific coast forest (Pacific Wren), marsh (Marsh Wren), or woodland/suburban areas (Bewick’s). I’ve added images and audio of these three wrens in typical habitats below.
And here’s some House Wren audio so you can hear they belong to the family…
And check out the Nightingale Wren below, which I once heard in Costa Rica. They’re known as one of the best singers in the world.
House Wrens really seem to be comfy anywhere. I remember seeing them all over the place in Minnesota, not localized to one habitat and happy just about anywhere there’s a brush pile. They nest in tree holes and nest boxes, but often have trouble with mites and parasites eating the nestlings. So they actually add spider egg sacs to their nest materials to combat this! That’s a pretty badass solution. House Wrens also have a massive range, breeding from Canada to the southern tip of South America!
I sure was happy to relocate the House Wren at QE. But that’s far from all that was there today.
I observed a whopping 39 species in the park today: rather a lot for April. Some of the highlights were Snow Goose (flyover), Hammond’s Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Hutton’s Vireo, tons of Ruby-crowned Kinglet (almost all male in this first migrant wave), Varied Thrush, Savannah Sparrow, Nashville Warbler, and Black-throated Gray Warbler (eBird list).
There’s also some exciting nest building going on now!
And it’s not just birds in the park either…
I wonder what tomorrow will turn up?!