Wrentit: Bird that's Half Tail

By Dave Hanks

Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a fancy tail - one that you could carry pointed skyward? Tails are used several different ways: a rudder to maneuver through trees and bushes, or as a convenient signal flag to warn competition away, or to be used as body language to exhibit various moods. And who has a more distinctive tail than the little Wrentit?

The Wrentit is a small brown bird that holds its tail erect, much like a wren. It is reddish-brown underneath, has creamy white around its eyes, and a short gray bill and head. This bird lives in western coastal chaparral and scrub. It stays hidden most of the time, but is very noisy.

So when you’re about from Oregon to the Baja

Listen for a tit---tit-tit-tit-t-t-t-tit

A sound that resonates like a bouncing ball

Getting shorter, and then faster, is the way of it

Not seen too often, because

Dense shrubbery is where they nest

The concealment and protection of the foliage

Makes it the place they think is best

Each pair has a huge range of around 160 square miles. And, they mate for life. Perhaps this could explain why they are always bickering.

(Feeling secure amid the thorns)