There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marsh Wren

Cistothorus palusris

  • Small bird
  • Lightly barred, warm brown upperparts
  • Black-and-white triangular patch on back
  • Whitish underparts
  • Pale brown flanks
  • Long, thin black bill
  • White eyebrown
  • Dark crown
  • Short tail, barred with black
Listen to its song.

I saw a number of these birds in the reeds at Swan Lake this afternoon. They appeared to be building their nests in the marshy area at the side of the lake. Flitting in and out of the reeds, they surreptitiously collected bits of grass and fluff for their homes. Then, suddenly, one would burst into song, which seemed at odds with their furtive behaviour. 

Here's a question for you -- what is the difference between a bulrush and a cattail?

Learn more about the Marsh Wren.

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