Backyard Birdwatching: Say Hello to the Wonderful Winter Wren

The beautiful trill of the Winter Wren is a familiar background to a summer day in the Maine woods. (volume up to listen)

But these little cuties are much more often heard than seen! Barely bigger than a hummingbird. Feathers dappled with all the soft shades of brown of the forest floor. Hunting for insects among fallen logs and dense tangles in the shady understory. It’s no wonder that five summers passed before I finally met this backyard neighbor face-to-face!

One summer afternoon, that beautiful melody seemed to be coming from right outside the window – and it was! A sweet little male had chosen a rocky corner of our house to perform his display. You see, Winter Wrens dance while they sing, bobbing up and down in tune to their warbling melody. Bob-and-sing, bob-and-sing, hop to new rock, bob-and-sing.

His display lasted only a few precious moments, and then he fluttered into the forest, blending once again into its warm shadows. But he made a lasting impression! His bobbing silhouette will forever stir a memory and a smile.

And that’s really the great thing about backyard birdwatching – no matter how familiar your back yard becomes, there will always be one more surprise in store!

by Sydney Michalski

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