The Bird Book/Thrashers, etc

The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Thrashers, etc: Family Mimidae


711. LECONTE'S THRASHER. Toxostoma lecontei lecontei.

Range. Desert regions of southwestern United States, chiefly in the valleys of the Gila and Colorado Rivers.

This species is much paler than the last and has a shorter

f ~ bill. It is fairly common but

locally distributed in its range and nests at low elevations in bushes or cacti. The three or four eggs are pale greenish blue, sparingly dotted with reddish brown. Size 1.10 x .75. Data.

Phoenix, Arizona, April 2, 1897. 3 eggs. Large nest of dry twigs, rootlets, etc., lined with bits of rabbit hair and feathers; 4 feet from the ground in a small shrub.

71 la. DESERT THRASHER. Toxostoma lecontei arenicola.

Range. Northern Lower California.

This form of the last is said to differ in being darker above. It is a very locally confined race, chiefly about Rosalia Bay, Lower California. Its eggs will not be distinctive.

712. CRISSAL THRASHER. Toxostoma crissale.

Range. Southwestern United States from western Texas to eastern California; north to southern Utah and Nevada. This species may be known from any other of the curvebilled Thrashers by its grayish underparts and bright chestnut under tail coverts. These sweet songsters are abundant in suitable localities, nesting at low elevations in chaparral. Their nests are large, and bulkily made of sticks and rootlets ; the eggs range from two to four in number and are pale greenish blue, unmarked. Size 1.10 x .75.

713. CACTUS WREN. Ileleodytes brunnei capillus couesi.

Range. Southwestern United States from Texas to eastern California; north to southern Nevada and Utah.

This species is the largest of the Wrens, be ing 8.5 inches in length. They are very common in cactus and chaparrel districts, where they nest at low elevations in bushes or cacti, making large purse-shaped structures of grasses and thorny twigs, lined with feathers and with a small entrance at one end. They raise two or three broods a year, the first set of eggs being laid early in April; the eggs are creamy white, dotted, so thickly as to obscure the ground color, with pale reddish brown. Size .95 x .65. Data. Placentia, Cal., April Nest in cactus about 6 feet from the ground; made of grasses and lined with feathers and rab bit fur ; nest 8 inches in diameter, 18 inches long. 423

Pale greenish blui


Cactus Wren


71 3a. BRYANT'S CACTUS WREN. Heleodytes brunneicapillus bryanti.

Range. Northern Lower California and coast of southern California.

The nesting habits of this variety differ in no respect from those of the last.

713b. SAN LUCAS CACTUS WREN. Heleodytes brunneicapillus affinis. Range. Southern Lower California. Eggs indistinguishable from those of the last.

715. ROCK WREN. Salpinctes obsoletus


Range. United States, west of the plains, breeding north to British Columbia, and south ,' ll ^^^'''. to Mexico; winters in south t^glBBT^BBBIM^, western United States and southward.

mrti$z This species appears to be ^KA.>-.->I

quite abundant on rocky hillsides throughout its range; like most of the Wrens they draw White attention to themselves by their loud and varied song. They nest in crevices or beneath overhanging rocks, making the nest out of any trash that may be handy, such as weeds, grass, wool, bark, rootlets, etc.; their eggs range from four to eight in number and are pure white, linely specked with reddish brown. Size .72 x .50.

Rock Wren

716. GUADALUPE ROCK W T REN. Sdlpmctes guadeloupensis.

Range. Guadalupe Island, Lower California.

A similar but darker and browner species than the Rock Wren. It breeds in abundance throughout the island from which it takes its name, placing its nests in crevices among the boulders or cavities of fallen tree trunks and, as is often done by the last species, lining the pathway to the nest with small pebbles. The eggs, which are laid from January to April, resemble, in all respects, those of the common Rock Wren.

717. WHITE-THROATED WREN. Catherpes mexicanus albifrons.

Range. Northeastern Mexico and the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

The habits of the White-throated Wren are the same as those of the Canon Wren, which variety is more common and better known; the eggs of this species are not distinguishable from those of the next.


7l7a. CANON WREN. Catherpes mexicanus conspersus.

Range. Rocky Mountain region and west to the Sierra Nevadas; north to Wyoming and Idaho and south to New Mexico and Arizona.

The Canon Wrens are uniform rusty brown all over except the large sharply denned white throat patch; the underparts, wings and tail are barred with black, and the back is specked with white. Their name is well chosen for they are found abundantly in rocky canyons, ravines, and side hills. They nest in crevices or caves among the rocks, placing their nests in small niches; they are made of twigs, leaves, grasses and feathers, and the three to six eggs, which are laid from April to June according to locality, are white, sprinkled and blotched with reddish brown and lilac. Size .72 x .52.

71 7b. DOTTED CANON WREN. Catherpes mexicanus punctulatus.


Carolina Wren


Range. Pacific coast from Oregon to Lower California.

The habits and eggs of this coast form of the White-throated Wren do not vary in any particular from those of the preceding variety. 718. CAROLINA WREN. Thryothorus ludovicianus ludovicianus.

Range. Eastern United States, breeding from the Gulf to southern New England and Illinois; resident in the greater part of its range.

These loud-voiced songsters are well known in the south where they are very abundant, being found along banks of

streams, in thickets, along walls, or about brush heaps. They ^ nest in almost any suitable nook or corner, in hollow trees

& or stumps, bird boxes, about buildings, and in brush or

^ bushes. When in exposed positions, the nest, which is

1|| made of all sorts of trash, is arched over; the eggs, which

^gk are laid from March to June, and frequently later, as sev 1% eral broods are sometimes reared in a season, are white,

profusely specked with light reddish brown and purplish. Size .74 x .60.

71 8a. FLORIDA WREN. Thryothorus ludovicianus miamensis.

Range. Southern Florida.

A similar bird to the last but darker above and brighter below. Its eggs are not distinguishable from those of the last.


LOMITA WREN. lomitensis.

Thryothorus ludovicianus

717a 719a

Range. Southern Texas.

This sub-species is abundant along the Lower Rio Grande in southern Texas, where its habits are the same as those of the others and the eggs are not distinctive, 425


719. BEWICK'S WREN. Thryomanes bewicki bewicki.

Range. South Atlantic and Gulf States, and the Mississippi Valley north to Minnesota and locally to the Middle States in the east.

This species is not common on the Atlantic coast but in the interior it is the most abundant of the Wrens, ^~ . nesting in holes in trees, stumps, fences, bird boxes, tin cans, etc., filling the cavities with grass and rootlets. Their eggs are laid in the latter part of April or May; they are white, specked and usually wreathed about the large end with reddish brown and purplish. Size .65 x .50.

719a. VIGORS 's WREN. Thryomanes bewicki spilurus.

Range. Pacific coast of California.

This similar bird to the last has the same general habits and the eggs are not in any way different from those of Bewick's Wren.


Bewick's Wren

719b. BAIRD'S WREN. Thryomanes bewicki bairdi.

Range. Southwestern United States, from western Texas to eastern California and north to Colorado and Nevada.

Like the two preceding Wrens, this one nests in natural or artificial cavities, and the four to seven eggs that they lay are precisely alike, in every respect, to those of the others.

719c. TEXAS WREN. Thryomanes bewicki cryptus.

Range. Texas, north in summer to western Kansas.

A very abundant bird in Texas. Nesting habits not unusual nor eggs distinctive.

719d. SAN DIEGO WREN. Thryomanes bewicki charienturus. Range. Coast of southern California.

719e. SEATTLE WREN. Thryomanes bewicki calophonus.

Range. Pacific coast from Oregon to British Columbia.

These last two sub-species have recently been separated from Vigors's Wren, but their habits and eggs remain the same as those of .that variety.

719-1. SAN CLEMENTE WREN. Thryomanes leucophrys.

Range. San Clemente Island, California.

This species is similar to Vigors's Wren but is grayer and paler above, not peculiar in its nesting habits and the eggs are like those of bcwickii.

It is

720. GUADALUPE WREN. Thryomanes brevicauda.

Range. Guadalupe Island.

A very similar species to the Vigors's Wren; nesting habits and the eggs are not apt to differ in any respect.





Troglodytes aedon.

Range. North America east of the Mississippi, breeding from the Gulf north to Manitoba and Ontario; winters in the southern half of the United States.

This familiar and noisy little Wren is the most abundant and widely distributed of the

Wrens; they are met with on

the edges of woods, swamps,

fields, pastures, orchards and

very frequently build about

houses, in bird houses or any

nook that may suit them; they

fill the cavity of the place they may select with twigs, grass, feathers, plant down, etc., and lay from five to nine eggs in a set and frequently three sets a year. The eggs are pinkish white, very profusely and minutely dotted with pale reddish brown so as to make the egg appear to be a nearly uniform salmon color and with a wreath of darker spots about the large end. Size .65 x .52. Data. Gretna, N. Y., May 29? 1896. Nest three feet from the ground in cavity of an apple tree; made of twigs and grass, and lined with hair and feathers.

Pinkish white

House Wren

72 la. WESTERN HOUSE WREN. Troglodytes aedon parkmani.

Range. United States, from the Mississippi Valley to eastern California. This variety is grayer above and below than the eastern form, but its habits and eggs do not differ in any respect.

722. WINTER WREN. Nannus hiemalis hiemalis.

Range. Eastern North America, breeding from northern United States northward, and south in the Alleghanies to North Carolina; winters in the United States.

These are the smallest of the Wrens, being but four inches in

length; they have a very short tail which, like those of the

others, is carried erect over the back during excitement or

anger. They are very sly birds and creep about through stone

walls and under brush like so many mice; they have a sweet

song but not as loud as that of the House Wren. Their nests

are placed in crevices of stumps, walls, old buildings or in brush

heaps, oeing made of twigs and leaves, lined with feathers. Their eggs, which

are laid during May or June, are pure white, finely and sparingly dotted with

reddish brown; size .60 x .48.



722a. WESTERN WINTER WREN. hiemalis pacificus.



Range. Western North America from Rockies to the coast, north to Alaska.

This species is much browner both above and below and is more heavily barred than the last; its habits and eggs are like those of hiemalis.

722b. KADIAK WINTER WREN. hiemalis helleri.


Range. Kadiak Island, Alaska. Said to be slightly larger and paler than pacificus.

723. ALASKA WREN. Nannus alascensis.

Range. Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, AlWinter Wren aska.

Larger and paler than the Western Winter Wren. The habits of this species are similar to those of the eastern Winter Wren; they nest between boulders and in crevices of rocks or stumps, making their nesfs of moss and rootlets, lined with feathers. The eggs are like those of the Winter Wren but slightly larger; size .65 x .51. White

723.1. ALEUTIAN WREN. Nannus meliger.

Range. Western Aleutian Islands to Alaska. Very similar to the above, both in song and general habits. They nest in the crevices of rocks or between boulders, making their nests of rootlets and grass, lining it with hair and feathers. Usually six eggs are laid, white with a few specks of brown (.58x.46).

724. SHORT-BILLED MARSH WREN. Cistothorus stellaris

Range. Eastern United States, breeding from the Gulf to Manitoba and Maine.

This species does not appear to be as common anywhere as is the Long-billed variety, whose habits and nests are similar. They nest in or on the borders of marshes, and nests being globular structures of grasses, lined with hair, and with

j the entrance on the side; they are attached above the ground or water in marsh grass or reeds. Their eggs, which number from six to eight, are pure white; size .64 x .48.


623 723.1 725a


725. LONG-BILLED MARSH WREN. Telmatodytes palustris palustris.

Range. United States east of the Rockies, breeding from the Gulf north to Manitoba and New England; winters in southern United States.

These birds are very abundant in suitable localities throughout their range, breeding in colonies in large marshes and in smaller num bers in small marshy places. Their nests are similar to those of the last, being globular and attached to cat-tails or reeds; the entrance is a small round hole in the side of the rushwoven structures and the interior is neatly finished with fine grass and hair. They lay from five to eight eggs of a pale chocolate color, dotted and spotted with darker shades of the same; size .64 x .45. Data. Delray, Mich., May 27, 1900. Six eggs. Nest a ball of woven flags and grasses, lined with cat-tail down, and attached to rushes in salt marsh over two feet of water. Collector, Geo. W. Morse.

Pale brown

Short-billed Marsh Wren

Long-billed Marsh Wren

TULE WREN. Telmatodytes palustris paludicola.

Range. Western United States on the Pacific coast; north to British Columbia.

The nesting habits and eggs of these birds are in all respects like those of the last.

725b. WORTHINGTON'S MARSH WREN. Telmatodytes palustris griseus,

Range. Coast of South Carolina and Georgia.

The habits and eggs of this paler form are identical with those of palustri*.

72oc. WESTERN MARSH WREN. Telmatodytes palustris plesius.

Range. United States west of the Rockies, except the Pacific coast; north to British Columbia. This variety is like the Tule Wren but slightly paler; its nesting habits and eggs are the same.

725.1. MARIAN'S MARSH WREN. Telmatodytes palustris mariance.

Range. West coast of Florida.

This species is similar to the Long-billed variety but is darker and more barred above and below. Its nests and eggs will not be found to differ materially from those of. the others of this genus.