There’s a chatty little bird that chirps noisily as he hops around among the brush. He has a distinct, bright white eye stripe and a tail he holds aloft and flicks back and forth. His name is the Bewick’s Wren and he’s been a regular visitor over the last few months. Now I don’t know if he’s the same one or not, but I do think it could be; he is hopping along the same tree and the bushes every time I see him. I like to think its his established territory.
The first time we met, he was climbing up the mossy limb of a tall tree frequented by chickadees and the occasional hummingbird. It was one of those autumn Victoria days with spots of sunshine peeping out between intermittent clouds. His quick stop and go movements caught my eye, as well as his noisy song. He would move along quickly, stop and tap the tree, hunting for insects for a bit before moving along again.
He also hops along on the ground among the leaves and brush, hopping from cover to cover. I think he has a preferred little nook in between the low branches of a bush where he must stay warm and dry. I’ve seen him there a few times, and he always seems to hide there when other people walk by. Their footsteps crunching in the leaves and stones send him scurrying for cover. Looking at how tiny he is, fitting in his little alcove as small as a leaf, I wonder what it would be like to be that small. Would a blade of grass be like a tree and would a tree like a mountain?
Since I started birding, I remember seeing my first Bewick’s Wren in my backyard. This little wren was once found widespread across North America; today, their refuge is the west coast and parts of the southwest. They can be found in shrubby and bushy areas, such as parks and gardens, as well as open woodlands like the garry oak meadows found on eastern Vancouver Island (Seattle Audubon; Cornell). These little birds are a joy to watch and I am always extra excited to see them in my own backyard.