Rock Wren

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Those of you who read this blog regularly know that my motto is that it is often better to be lucky than good.  Yesterday is a prime example of why that adage works for me.

For several weeks I’ve wanted to get a nice photo of a Rock Wren.  These wrens are cousins to the Cactus Wrens whose images I featured a few days ago. They are considerably smaller than Cactus Wrens and have a very different personality and appearance.  Whereas Cactus Wrens are bold and outgoing, Rock Wrens are unobtrusive. Rock Wrens occupy the same desert habitat as do their cousins, but they can be practically invisible most of the time.  They tend to forage among rocks and under vegetation, only occasionally exposing themselves to view.  Cactus Wrens are raucous and noisy, Rock Wrens are not.  Cactus Wrens have boldly patterned plumage, Rock Wrens come in tones of beige that blend in almost perfectly with desert’s rocks and soil.

Rock Wrens aren’t exactly uncommon but finding them can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.

So, for several weeks, I’ve been hiking around in the desert with a Rock Wren as a specific objective.  I had no luck at all — until yesterday.  Yesterday afternoon I spent about 2 1/2 hours hiking in Sabino Canyon.  I had my eyes peeled for a Rock Wren and saw nothing (although I did see and photograph several other species).  Finally, I headed back to my car.  I was walking through the front patio of the canyon’s visitors center, just a few feet from the parking lot, when a bit of movement caught my eye.  I looked in the direction of the movement, and there it was.


The wren was sitting calmly on a piece of dead mesquite, right in the center of the visitors center patio.  There must have been 100 people standing or walking within 10 yards of this bird.  It was obviously so inured to human traffic at that location that it felt perfectly comfortable sitting out in the open.

My good fortune, of course, to get a nice image of a pretty little bird.

Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/500.


2 responses to “Rock Wren”

  1. tkiiatmindspringcom says :

    Good catch! Nice picture of a nice bird.

  2. Pale Hjertaas says :

    and rock Wrens have been dirt birds this year around Ajo since before Christmas. never seen and heard so many! but none today…

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