Carolina Wren (Bejeweled Rump Revealed)

May 9, 2013

I woke up last Saturday morning to the sound of rain—again—but checked the radar and found a little break in the action. I threw on some clothes, downed a bowl of oatmeal and headed for Shaw Nature Reserve with the borrowed Canon 7D. I began my hike with a search for the fledgling owls from my previous post but couldn’t find them. Next, I headed to a copse of trees and brush where I’d recently observed a pair of Carolina wrens building a nest. It didn’t take me long to find this rain-soaked sweetie preening away in a small brush pile.

As the tiny wren groomed its matted plumage it separated its wings to reveal its rump feathers, decorated with a charming pattern of off-white spots. I began shooting away and was able to grab a nice image before the busy wren folded its wings back over its spotted rump. I laughed when the little bird lost its balance during an awkward preening maneuver and fell backward off its perch. It quickly jumped back up on the branch and looked around like a cat to make sure nobody had witnessed its gaff.

I always enjoy Carolina wrens no matter how many times I see them and I know that many of you do as well, especially my good friend and follower of Nature Frames, Kenda Flores. They are a sight to behold, in spite of their facial expressions that sometimes remind me of a grumpy old man. I love the Carolina’s burnished chestnut plumage, upturned tail and curved bill. Carolina wrens are also jam packed with personality. Their distinctive “teakettle – teakettle” call seems much too loud for such a tiny bird and their resonant churrs and other vocalizations are equally impressive.

Carolina wrens are bold around humans and will not hesitate to fly into your garage or house in search of a nesting space. They are persistent, as well, and it often requires several rejections to change one’s mind. Overall, the Carolina wren is hard to beat as a Missouri songbird. Please take a moment to enjoy this one with its eye-catchingly bejeweled rump.

Thanks for looking,


Carolina Wren:  Canon EOS 7D; Canon 300/4 L IS Lens with Canon 1.4 TC III Extender; 1/125 sec @ f/5.6; ISO 400; RAW Capture; Feisol CT3301 Tripod with Markins M-10 Ballhead; Converted and processed in Canon DPP

6 comments on “Carolina Wren (Bejeweled Rump Revealed)”

  1. I took more than a moment to enjoy it. I’d seen one singing in Kennedy Forest (Forest Park) last week, and your photo is what a photo of this bird ought to be:) Thank you!

  2. The colors and markings of this little fella are beautiful! Sharp image and beautiful capture! We did see these on our bird walk last Saturday in Kennedy Forest, however, we did not get a good view of their bejeweled rump! Thanks for sharing, Danny!

  3. You are right Danny, when you said that he looked like a grumpy old man. However, the markings, and plumage that he has, ,makes up for it. Thanks for sharing your work, and the great story. I am off again for Iowa. Have a good week.


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