Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-92

Common name:

Winter Wren

Scientific name: Troglodytes hiemalis
Date: 11/27 to 12/02/2013
Time:  ~between 10:00 and 10:40 both days
Length of time observed: 20 min
Number: 1
Sex: ?
Location: Cottonwood Wash near confluence with Quail Creek, Quail Creek State Par
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~920m
Distance to bird: 5-10 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: partly cloudy
Light Conditions: diffused morning sun to full shade
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I located a Winter Wren foraging in the debris piles near the south end of the riparian area along Cottonwood Wash. I ran back to the truck to get the camera and quickly relocated the wren by its call. The wren was very active and very vocal mostly giving a Chup Chup call note, but occasionally giving a rapid series of notes as well. I photographed the wren and recorded it calling as a voice memo with my phone.
Observed the wren on 12/02 south of the road along Quail Creek near the confluence with Cottonwood Wash, again was frequently calling as it foraged in the debris piles and dense vegetation.

Small plump wren with short tail. Overall reddish colored with pale throat, and dark barring on tail, wings, and flanks. Head with reddish brown cap, pale buffy supercilium extending well behind eye, indistinct dark eyeline, and dark scaley check patch. Pale buffy throat and chest with buffy spots extending down onto belly, and pale buffy streaking/spotting extending on sides of nape. Lower belly with dark barring. Wings with dark primaries with buffy barring, rufous secondaries with dark barring, and small bright white spots on coverts extending onto scapulars. Short rufous tail with dark barring. Eye dark. Thin bill with dark culmen and dark along bottom of lower mandible and pale along center line. Long fleshy pink legs.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: 'chup, chup' frequently given, somewhat reminiscent of a Song Sparrow's call. Occasionally gave rapid chattering alarm call.
Behavior: foraging low in dense debris and log piles, very active and vocal, flitting rapidly through dense vegetation piles
Habitat: dense riparian vegetation along wash and small creek
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distinguished from Pacific Wren by extensive pale throat and undersides, white streaking/spotting on neck and scapulars. Call note distinctive.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
yes. I've observed a couple vagrant Winter Wrens in Nevada.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Subsequent observers included Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld, Kevin Wheeler, Daniel Trujillo
Date prepared: 12-05-13
Additional material: Photos, audio recording
Additional_Comments: Subsequent observers included Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld, Kevin Wheeler, Daniel Trujillo