#280 House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

09 December

In North America, the house wren is thought to achieve the highest density in floodplain forests in the western great plains where it uses woodpecker holes as nesting sites. In South and Central America it can be found in virtually any habitat and is, as indicated by its common name, often associated with humans. North American birds migrate to the southern United States and Mexico for winter. Most return to the breeding grounds in late April to May, and leave for winter quarters again around September to early October. These birds forage actively in vegetation. They mainly eat insects such as butterfly larvae, also spiders and snails. Southern house wrens rarely attend mixed-species.

The First Fifty

Looking back over the first fifty species recorded and shared, I find that they are an interestingly mixed bunch. During the late winter period and starting into post-snow spring it’s fairly easy to share one new species a day but as we go forward into spring proper with plants popping up all over and many, many species of migrating birds returning to breed that is going to be a limitation – still working out how best to handle the plenitude of riches ahead. Suggestions welcomed … but one a day at least.


American Robin
Northern Cardinal
Red-bellied woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
American Crow
Purple Finch
Mourning Dove
American Goldfinch
Barred Owl
Canada Goose
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruffed Grouse
Ring-billed Gull
Northern Flicker
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Cooper’s Hawk
Hermit Thrush
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Great Blue Heron


Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
American Red Squirrel
Red Fox
Striped Skunk

Insects & Spiders

Golden Rod Gall Fly
Asian lady beetle
Dark Fishing Spider
Cluster Fly
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Western conifer seed bug
Long-legged Sac Spider
Northern Spring Azure Butterfly

Other Arthropds 

Common Striped Woodlouse 

Flowering plants 



Staghorn Sumac
Eastern White Pine
European Larch


Marshmallow Polypore Fungus

Mosses & Lichens 

Oak Moss Lichen
Common Greensheild Lichen
Candleflame Lichen
Hygrohypnum sp. (moss)