Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bewick's Wren

Bewick's Wren
Redding, California, USA
November 2014
Member of the Wren Family
§A Chime of Wrens§

~true bird fact~ He might look innocent, but don't let that fool you. This Bewick's Wren is engaged in a high stakes game of deadly nest espionage with his hated rival, the House Wren. Bewick's Wrens have all but disappeared from the Eastern United States, and it's thought that the expansion of the House Wren population is to blame. House Wren's frequently sneak the Bewick's Wren's eggs out of the nest and take it over themselves. In response, these birds often build 'dummy nests' as a misdirect, peck holes in other bird's eggs, and "defend nesting territory with singing" (a direct quote from the Audubon.org field guide, which leaves the way this is accomplished up to the reader's imagination).

Paranoid and jumpy (is it paranoia if they're really out to get you?)
Considers family traditions very important
Seeks closer bond with humans than most birds. Acts cute to get attention

Thomas Bewick
This bird was named after Thomas Bewick, by his friend James Audubon. Bewick was an engraver first, but eventually found acclaim as a naturalist and author. He illustrated children's books, engraved silverware, and did engravings for advertisements. He became well known for his illustrations of various versions of Aesop's Fables and a book called A History of Quadrupeds. He was a big proponent of wood engraving as a medium, and pioneered new techniques and tools to make it higher quality and less expensive. His most famous work was A History of British Birds, which he co-wrote and illustrated. A man after your amateurnithologist's own heart, he was credited with adding humanity and humor to his illustrations and books, adding unrelated illustrated vignettes to his nature books.

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