Solving the Wren Riddle
I was clearly wrong. My educated guess was off the mark. My attempts at online research failed. Apps I trusted to point me in the right direction flopped. So it goes.
I’ve written about my attempts to identify a bird I wasn’t familiar with that has moved into the neighborhood. And not just this neighborhood but I’ve heard a similar song on Cape Cod, as if it was following me across the Bourne Bridge, taunting me all along. After many fruitless searches I’d finally settled on the Brown Thrasher as the most likely candidate, and have referred to the Brown Thrasher ever since. But it wasn’t a Brown Thrasher at all. It was a Carolina Wren.
The Carolina Wren, as the name indicates, is typically seen (and heard) further south of here. I’ve seen another “southern bird”‘, the Baltimore Oriole, in Massachusetts and New Hamphire, but this was a new song; a song I couldn’t get out of my head until I solved the riddle. An app that records birds singing and analyzes it like Shazam continually got the wrong answers. So I tried a different app, and still continually got the wrong answers. Frustrated, I emailed the .m4a voice file to Chirp, the second app I tried, and they responded within 24 hours with the elusive answer; Carolina Wren. A quick search online confirmed this was indeed the singer I’d been searching for all season. It seems the bird song apps use a strong location filter to eliminate matches that wouldn’t normally be found in your area. And Carolina Wren’s weren’t thought to settle in New Hampshire so Chirp was eliminating it as a choice. Well, welcome to the Granite State, my southern friend.
The New York Times recently published an article detailing the decline of North American birds, and followed that with an article detailing birds moving away from natural territory as the climate changes. New Hampshire’s Purple Finch is apparently considering a move to other climates. Thankfully the one’s who visit my backyard haven’t felt so inclined as of yet. But then again, I have this new visitor to my backyard whom I’ve never had before who might be singing that there’s something to this story after all.