Eastern Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes hiemalis), Mesa, Maricopa County
This Eastern Winter Wren was
discovered and identified by Jay Miller at his home in Mesa near Gilbert and
University Roads. It has been present since 24 November 2008. It was photographed by
Jay on 22 January 2009 and by Michael Moore
and Pierre Deviche on 24 January 2009 and recorded by Pierre at the same time.
Jay photographed it on 22 January 2009 and Jim Burns photographed it on 15
February 2009. Access to this private residence is by appointment only.
There is very good evidence that Winter Wren consists of two species and it is very likely to be split into Pacific Wren (T. pacificus), the western form and the form usually encountered in Arizona, and Winter Wren (T. troglodytes) which encompasses the forms in eastern North America and the Palearctic. See here for more information. The status of Eastern Winter Wren in Arizona is unclear. There are about 10 reports since 2001 of this form in Arizona but it is probably underreported. In anticipation of the future split and to clarify the status of this form, the Arizona Bird Committee recently elevated Eastern Winter Wren to a review species.
The two forms of Winter Wren are best separated by vocalization (see
recordings and sonograms below), but they do differ visually as well. Note
especially the pale coloration on the throat and breast, which separates the
eastern form from the darker western form. This bird also responded strongly to
the playback of an Eastern Winter Wren song.
24 January 2009, photo by Michael Moore
24 January 2009, photos by Pierre Deviche
22 January 2009, photo by Jay Miller
15 February 2009, photo by Jim Burns
All photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Sound Recording of the calls of this bird:
"Eastern" Winter Wren, calls, Mesa - 24 Jan 2009
"Pacific" Winter Wren, calls, Oak Creek Canyon - 28 Feb 1990 (J. Coons)
If you use the "Play" button you can play both recordings simultaneously which provides an excellent comparison.
The calls of the Mesa Eastern Winter Wren are on the top, the scolds of the Oak Creek Canyon "Pacific" Winter Wren (structurally similar to the calls) are on the bottom.
Submitted on 24 January 2009