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Marsh or Carolina?


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#1 hbvol

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:50 PM

Today in SE TN

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#2 Liam

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:51 PM

Carolina. Marsh have a distinctive pattern on the mantle and the prefer to stay close to the ground.

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#3 Kryptos18

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:51 PM

Carolina Wren for sure. You'll never see a Marsh Wren up that high.
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#4 psweet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

I would strongly suggest you send these photos, as well as any notes you might have, to the TN records committee. http://www.tnbirds.org/TBRC/index.html

The gray undersides and especially the white on the outer tail feathers says Bewick's Wren to me, and they're very rare east of the Mississippi. Do you remember what the song sounded like? A recording would answer the question very quickly.

#5 hbvol

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:06 PM

I would strongly suggest you send these photos, as well as any notes you might have, to the TN records committee. http://www.tnbirds.org/TBRC/index.html

The gray undersides and especially the white on the outer tail feathers says Bewick's Wren to me, and they're very rare east of the Mississippi. Do you remember what the song sounded like? A recording would answer the question very quickly.

All I remember was that it wasn't a familiar song but them I'm terrible with song ID's

#6 psweet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:11 PM

Oh, a quick note -- you said SE Tennessee. Apparently Bewick's still breed regularly in Rutherford and Wilson Counties (I had to look those up to see what part of the state they're in), so if you're in one of those two counties, there's no reason to send the photos in.

#7 Kryptos18

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:13 PM

I thought about Bewick's, but the body shape screams Carolina to me. I think it may be a wet bird in bad light, so you can't see the full coloration of the underparts.
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#8 psweet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:14 PM

Being wet still wouldn't explain the white in the outer tail feathers.

#9 hbvol

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:25 PM

Oh, a quick note -- you said SE Tennessee. Apparently Bewick's still breed regularly in Rutherford and Wilson Counties (I had to look those up to see what part of the state they're in), so if you're in one of those two counties, there's no reason to send the photos in.

This was in Hamilton County about 90 -100 mile southeast of Rutherford and Wilson

#10 hbvol

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:26 PM

I thought about Bewick's, but the body shape screams Carolina to me. I think it may be a wet bird in bad light, so you can't see the full coloration of the underparts.

Yeah, lighting was poor but he wasn't wet.

#11 psweet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

Carolina should be pretty common where you are, so I'd definitely keep my eyes and ears open for a while. If you hear the same sort of song in other areas, it's probably a Carolina. (Hint, they say teakettle, teakettle, teakettle. Or, as my ears put it, Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger :) ) On the other hand, if it is a Bewick's and it's sticking around, that would be wonderful -- they've been seriously declining in the east for a long time, so any new breeding is a big deal.

#12 Liam

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

(Hint, they say teakettle, teakettle, teakettle. Or, as my ears put it, Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger :) )


The ones over here say "Derp-ity Derp-ity Derp". :D

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#13 hbvol

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:46 PM

Carolina should be pretty common where you are, so I'd definitely keep my eyes and ears open for a while. If you hear the same sort of song in other areas, it's probably a Carolina. (Hint, they say teakettle, teakettle, teakettle. Or, as my ears put it, Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger :) ) On the other hand, if it is a Bewick's and it's sticking around, that would be wonderful -- they've been seriously declining in the east for a long time, so any new breeding is a big deal.

I honestly can remember the song but something made me take photos of this guy and if it had struck me as a Carolina wren I would not have, but I guess the odds are with Carolina.

#14 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

In response to psweet, I'm not aware of a diagnostic mark of white on the outer tail feathers for Bewicks's. Carolina's also show a lighter color there, too. Am I missing something?

Carolina Wren in bad lighting for me.

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#15 JimBob

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:30 PM

Carolina Wren for me.

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#16 psweet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:53 PM

In response to psweet, I'm not aware of a diagnostic mark of white on the outer tail feathers for Bewicks's. Carolina's also show a lighter color there, too. Am I missing something?

Carolina Wren in bad lighting for me.


Sibley's, NatGeo, and the old Audubon Master Guide all mention that Bewick's has white on the outer tail feathers, and that this is a distinguishing mark from Carolina. Looking at Crossley, and a couple of my photos, it appears that Carolina can show white barring on the outer web, at least, of the outermost feathers. On the other hand, Carolina has a squared off tail, whereas Bewick's has a strongly graduated tail. Looking at the photos, it appears that this bird has shorter outer tail feathers, which would also fit Bewick's. In any case, given the current situation with eastern Bewick's, it definitely seems to me it's worth a second look at the area, at least.

#17 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:09 PM

Found an interesting article addressing the issue of tail patterning in these two species...not sure it helps much with this ID, but worth a peek. (I learned something!)

http://www.birds.cor...s/Wrentails.htm

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#18 Limpkin

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:30 PM

Legs look pinkish over black to me, which suggests Carolina, but other than that, I have little to offer to this ID. :/

#19 BarnSwallow

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:39 PM

My Carolina wrens always say "cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger" too! However, they sometimes say "weedeater, weedeater, weedeater".

#20 birdbrain22

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

Funny the ones round here say " No coke, Pepsi!"
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