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House wren        Images © Mark A. Chappell

House wrens occur across much of North America (these were photographed in California).   They have lovely twittering songs, nest in holes, and can be extremely abundant (especially when artificial nest boxes are offered).   House wrens quickly acclimate to the presence of a quiet human, and I took several of these pictures with a 70-200 mm lens from only 2 feet away from the birds, who were feeding chicks in a nest box.  The photos, including the one of a recently-fledged baby (below at right), were nesting in aspen groves along Convict Creek in the eastern Sierra in Mono County, in Riverside County, or in south San Diego County.   The bird at bottom right is the tropical form, photographed in Cali, Colombia

  • Canon 30D, 1D Mk. II, 1D4, or 7D2; 500mm f4 IS with 1.4X or 2X converter, or 800 mm IS with 1.4X converter, or 70-200 f4 IS with extension tube, or 100-400 MkII zoom; fill-in flash (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)