(left, Wrentit, photo E. Shock)
It may have subdued plumage, but how can anyone not like a skulking, big-headed, tiny bird with white eyes, who is the only North American representative of the bird family called Babblers (Timaliidae)?
We had crippling views of several of these dinky dudes on our recent Oregon coast trip. I saw more Wrentits in a weekend of casual birding in moist coastal forests than during years of birding in California. This one was dinking around in thick brambles and undergrowth at the top of the headland at the Cape Meares Lighthouse observation platform, in the company of a couple of obliging Winter wrens, another bird I’m not used to seeing so easily (in Arizona, the presence of Winter wrens is practically mythical).
Wrentits are common in their range and habitat, but their skulking habits can make them hard to see. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Wrentits…
…may be the most sedentary bird species in north America, with an average dispersal distance from natal nest to breeding spot of about 400 m (1300 ft).
This Dinky Dude is also a homebody.
Listen to its trilling call here.