A Travellerspoint blog

A Summering Winter Wren!

Thatcher Woods Forest Preserve, IL

semi-overcast 87 °F

At the notification from Roberta Asher that an out-of-season Winter Wren had been heard by her, singing along the bank of the Des Plaines not even 15 minutes from my house, I was on my bike the next morning in hopes of seeing this crazy bird. This species usually passes through in early April and should be hundreds of miles north of here about now, but this little guy obviously has his hopes set on establishing a territory in Thatcher Woods! If he has a mate, that would be simply unprecedented...

While waiting for the bird to sing at the appointed spot according to Roberta, I spotted a Spiny Shoftshell Turtle on the other side of the Des Plaines River, always a cool sighting and a great species to log into iNat (where I log my non-bird sightings).

And then, I heard it! A trilling, warbling song with microtonal variations doubling back and forth on themselves — the male WINTER WREN began piping away on the other side of the river, and I was ecstatic! This is the first one to have been recorded in eBird for Cook County in June!

I recorded a video of its awesome song and posted it here to Youtube!


I admired the bird for about thirty minutes and then continued on in Thatcher Woods to see if I could pick up any decent breeding species. I did have a singing SCARLET TANAGER, two YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, and this WOOD THRUSH feeding its BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD fledgling. A sad sight to see, but alas, it is part of mother nature.

Bird-of-the-day to the Winter Wren with runner-up to the Wood Thrush for its effort. Good stuff!

Happy birding,
World Life List: 1120 Species

Posted by skwclar 20:25 Archived in USA

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Thanks for posting the video of the singing winter wren! A nice way to start the day.

by liz cifani

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