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Breeding Birds: Bewick's Wren

September 22, 1989|Clipboard researched by Susan Davis Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times; Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) Description: Dark gray above, pale underparts with a long, sideways-flitting tail edged with white spots. Habitat: Common in brushy areas, also found in suburbs, farms and open woodland. Diet: Insects and spiders. Song: A high, thin buzz and warble; varies geographically. Call is a flat, hollow chip . Nest: Builds nest of twigs and grass in natural cavities, also amid roots of upturned tree or center of brush- pile. Eggs: White, flecked with browns and purples (sometimes almost unmarked), about three-quarters of an inch long. Natural history notes: The Bewick's wren, while common in the west, is declining rapidly east of the Mississippi. San Clemente had an endemic subspecies of this wren which recently became extinct. Breeding bird atlas: To report bird breeding activity in your neighborhood, or to get information on the breeding bird atlas (now in its fifth and final year), call Sea and Sage Audubon Society members Sylvia Gallagher, (714) 962-8990, or Nancy Kenyon, (714) 786-3160. Note: Map is divided into 5-kilometer squares so that Audubon Society volunteers can more easily survey areas on a regular basis. Sources: Sea and Sage Audubon Society; "The Birder's Handbook," Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, Fireside Books (1988); "Field Guide to the Birds of North America," National Geographic Society (1987); "Birds of Southern California: Status and Distribution," Garrett and Dunn, Los Angeles Audubon Society (1981).

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