Cactus Wren

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Cactus Wren

Postby Terrible Terry » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:54 pm

Here is a Cactus Wren I observed here in Tucson. It's common around here. This Wren is quite a bit larger than the ordinary wrens we see in the Midwest or East. It's about 7". It's pretty noisy and makes a lot of raspy chatter. The white stripe above it's eye and streaked breast makes it pretty easy to ID. The beak is downward curved and relatively long but it doesn't appear that way in the photo because the tip is obsucred by the nearby cactus.

Image

There appears to be some problem on the face around the beak of this bird. At first I just thought it was a rose coloration but none of the books comment on such color. It might have some infestation or parasite problem.

Image

The books say the Cactus Wren likes to make it's nest in Cholla (cho-ya) cactus. Sure enough, I looked around and found this nest, just as described, only about 3 feet off the ground:

Image
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Postby cwl50? » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:08 pm

Nice pics Terry, thanks...I have seen some of them in southern Colorado. I was amazed to see them going to and from the nest. They seem to have no fear of the points on the cactus. However I have seen one or two of them, dead as a hammer because of them. That cactus will rip you apart!
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Postby Terrible Terry » Mon Dec 05, 2005 11:58 pm

No doubt about it, Clyde. You have to keep your eyes constantly on the ground when walking around here. There are so many spiny plants just waiting for you. It amazes me too they way the birds, and even rabbits are able to navigate amongst the stuff. Interesting to hear that even they get careless now and then. I wonder if that could account for the red injury around the birds beak in the photo above? Then again maybe he was just digging into some red colored fruit.
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Postby cwl50? » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:14 am

I think they use the plants to protect them from predators but nothing is 100%! Some nasty insects in that type of country also!! When I watched birds in Colorado the most dreaded thing for me was...Rattle Snakes that someone cut the rattles off! People collect the rattles then let the snake go. The poor snake has no way left to warn that it is near.

Thanks again for the images! I haven't got to see that bird now for a few years.

Clyde
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