39-B-2016 Winter Wren

STATUS
Accepted
DATE VOTING COMPLETED
1ST ROUND
7-0
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Austin Young
OTHER OBSERVERS
Birders who observed the bird in the following week:
Stoddard Davenport
Patricia Weber
Cheryl Huizinga
Melody Asher
Cliff Weisse
Jason Talbot
Kathy Eklund
Steve Buttworth
Darren Clark
Jordan Ragsdale
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Auger Falls Rd, Twin Falls County. Auger Falls Rd goes along the Snake River to the west of the Perrine Bridge. It's along the northern border of the county.
Exact location of observation: 42.61540, -114.50087
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
A stream flowed from the canyon cliff, to the south, down to the river (about 200m long). The bottom half of the area (towards the river) consisted of thick, moist shrubbery, with several intermixed trees. The bird was in that bottom half.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I was able to listen to the bird call for a combined total of about 10 minutes. It observed it several times as it moved about in the low layer of the shrubbery.
I observed the bird with a pair of Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 binoculars at varying distance between 15 and 30 feet.
I photographed the bird with a Nikon Coolpix L820.
I recorded the sound of the bird through video on the camera.
The weather was overcast and chilly with almost no breeze and sprinkling rain, which became gradually more intense as time passed. Building to a light rain.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, later the same day
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley Guide to Birds 2nd ed. (2014)
And an online bird sound database called Xeno-Canto
(www.xeno-canto.org)
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Small, chunky, warmish brown overall. The call was high-pitched "cheep" that was repeated in varying sequences. It's plumage was dark, warmish brown overall with very strong pale supercilium, pale face and breast, and very noticeable/contrasting dark bars on lower flanks.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
It mostly stayed within the thick shrubbery, making several appearances along the edge.
It always stayed lower to the ground as it moved through the shrubs.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
The call was the clincher and primary identifier at the moment of observation. I got several views of the bird that day where I observed the very pale supercilium, lighter breast and face, and noticeable dark bars on lower flanks.
Several days later I got a poor, but very identifiable photo, that confirmed everything I noticed.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
House Wren was eliminated by voice, size, and shape alone.
The similar and potentially phenotypically overlapping Pacific Wren was ruled out by voice, very strong supercilium, paler face and breast, and very noticeable dark bars along lower flanks.
Pacific Wrens are less pale and "contrasty" overall. And with a diagnostically different call.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
This is my first experience with Winter Wren, but I have extensive experience with Pacific Wren. I immediately noticed the difference in voice and several plumage characteristics that separated this bird from Pacific Wren.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Extensive. I have been seriously observing/studying birds for >7 years in the interior West, southern Idaho especially
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
Photo
Audio
SUPPORTING IMAGES
SUPPORTING VIDEOS
SUPPORTING AUDIO

FIRST ROUND VOTING:

Cliff Weisse
Accept

Description, photos and especially audio support identification of Winter Wren.

Shirley Sturts
Accept

well documented

Dave Trochlell
Accept

The evidence presented in the report was compelling for Winter Wren.

Doug Ward
Accept

Combination of good description with diagnostic recordings of this bird’s call enough to accept. Decent comparison to Pacific Wren also supportive.

Jay Carlisle
Accept

great documentation, especially the vocalization

Darren Clark
Accept

Photographs and audio recordings are good supporting evidence for Winter Wren

Charles Swift
Accept

Voice is apparently diagnostic and in the first audio clip a Song Sparrow is calling nearby for a nice comparison.