Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
Spring turkey hunting has many side benefits. One of the most rewarding is all of the interesting things you encounter other than turkeys. A good example recently occurred as I spotted an energetic little bird feeding along a brushy deer trail. Although the bird was definitely “wren-like”, I knew there was something different. Slowly moving to investigate, I had soon crawled to within a few yards of the hyperactive, animated little creature. Although the bird resembled the familiar house wren, there were noticeable differences including smaller size, darker plumage, heavy barring on the breast, and stubby bobbed tail. Primarily occupied with the greedy consumption of an ongoing hatch of near microscopic insects, the bird allowed me to continue my approach. Although it never seemed to quit moving, I did eventually manage to get a couple of photos at a distance of 5 and 7 feet. The bird turned out to be a winter wren. The species is listed as an uncommon migrant in Iowa; most nest in the coniferous forest regions of Canada. This was the first I’ve ever seen — at least that I’m aware of.