Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SINALOA WREN in Arizona, another mega-rarity


While not as good looking or easily seen as the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail that was found at Bosque del Apache NWR last month, the Sinaloa Wren shares the mega-rarity label. Found not far from the entrance to Huachuca Canyon on the Ft Huachuca Military Base yesterday, it was an short drive for me to that location this morning since I have been staying just a few miles away in the town of Sierra Vista. Ironically it was harder and longer for me to find my way through the military base to check in at the MP office than it did to get out of my car and see the wren (saw it within 15 minutes of arrival thanks to Ron Beck, who discovered the bird and returned today on his bicycle so he could count it on his 'green-year' birding list). During the hour and an half I stayed this wren called then showed itself several times with some really quite good though brief views from as close as 25 feet.

Clearly the top pic was the best I got. That photo plus the blurry bottom pic showing the tail color (waved about as it moved) do seem to support the identification by showing some of the requisite field marks that differentiate Sinaloa from "other medium-sized wrens by ... moderate black streaking on the auriculars and neck; brown back contrasting with rusty tail...." (quoted from ABA Checklist Report when this species was accepted by the Checklist Committee for 2008-9). Not shown but seen by me and others was it's "plain underparts with grey breast", another requisite field mark. (read more on the Checklist link).

I included the bottom pic both because it does show the rusty color of the tail and what the view of this bird was more often than not as, like other wrens, it flitted about quickly with only brief stays in one place. Note: there was a birder with a 60 mm lens outfit who got some even better photos. SeEtta