Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-98

Common name:

Winter Wren

Scientific name: Troglodytes hiemalis
Date: 29 December 2013
Time: 9:30 am
Length of time observed: 20 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Provo River Oxbow, Provo
County: Utah
Elevation: 4500 ft
Distance to bird: 20-40 feet
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars. Canon Camera
Weather: hazy, cold
Light Conditions: okay
Description:        Size of bird: Small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Wren shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: thin, long, pointy
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small wren with thin pointy bill. Brown all over, with a pale eyebrow. Throat, sides of face and chest were a paler brown than the body. Belly and undertail darker, dark streaks on the flanks. Short tail cocked up. See photos.
Song or call & method of delivery: I heard it calling before I saw it and thought it sounded like a Winter Wren. It made a double call note "Jit-Jit" Sounding similar to a Song Sparrow in quality. See recording. It also made a fast staccato scolding call. I made a recording of the bird calling and I made a spectrogram of some call notes from that recording. I've submitted the spectrogram with this record. I compared the spectrogram with the ones shown at
Behavior: Skulking low in the thick brush, close to the ground. It would disappear deep in the brush then pop up, call and scold for a minute, then disappear again.
Habitat: Thick brushy habitat at along a frozen swampy oxbow of the Provo River.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Most Pacific Wrens would show a warmer, more solid brown color on the throat and chest. A Pacific Wren would have a drier, harder, sharper call note. I made a spectrogram of the call and compared it to an example spec of both Pacific and Winter.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen and heard several Pacific Wrens. I submitted a record of a Winter Wren earlier this year.
References consulted: Sibley Guide. - sound recordings
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Jack Binch also saw it today
Date prepared: December 29, 2013
Additional material:  Photos, Tape, [spectrogram]
Additional_Comments: The bird looked like it was missing feathers on its left wing, Maybe injured? eBird list with additional info -