Wrentit

Chamaea fasciata
      Wrentit Song

The Wrentit is actually neither a wren NOR a tit, as the name might imply. Scholars have debated where this bird fits into scientific nomenclature as long as they’ve been known to science. These small skulking birds, while often difficult to see, are more easily found by their unique songs echoing down from chaparral-covered slopes. Often, when they come into view, they give us only briefest of glimpses.

The Pacific Coastal slopes from southern Washington to northern Baja California (Mexico) are the only places we find these skulking birds. When these birds are less than two months old, they pair up and remain with their mates for the rest of their lives. Most of these birds spend their lives within a quarter mile of their birthplaces. The average lifespan of a Wrentit is about three and a half years, but we have documented them to live for over thirteen years.

Today’s science recognises five subspecies of Wrentit. C. f. phaea lives on the coastal belt from the Columbia River to northern California. C. f. margra lives in the interior of southern Oregon. C. f. rufula lives near the northern California coast from Oregon to the San Francisco Bay. C. f. fasciata lives near the California coast from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. C. f. henshawi lives in coastal and interior areas of southern California and northern Baja California (Mexico).

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