Aug
12

A Wren in the Sun

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cactus wren sunning, Sonora

You’d think that cactus wrens would get plenty of sun just living where they do, but this one in Bahía de Kino the other day made a special effort to expose itself, writhing into postures startlingly reptilian even for this so saurian species.

cactus wren sunning, Sonora

It turns out, says BNA, that sunbathing in this desert wren is rarely observed and little understood.

cactus wren sunning, Sonora

I suspect that this bird’s contortions, which went on for a full five minutes while I watched in the mid-day heat, had something to do with the ragged state of its plumage, in turn likely the result of an ill-timed and itchy infestation of something or other during the pre-basic molt.

cactus wren sunning, Sonora

I’m eager to hear if you’ve seen this behavior. I’ve spent a lot of time watching cactus wrens, and can’t remember having witnessed anything quite this extravagant before myself.

cactus wren sunning, Sonora

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