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Chasing the Cherry County Canyon Wren

Confirmation came last week that a wren hanging out at a remote Cherry County ranchstead was, in fact, a Canyon Wren, a species with only three other accepted Nebraska records.  Canyon Wrens are normally found in mountainous areas of western North America and there is a population as close as the Black Hills of South Dakota.  But, this species does not wander all too often.  The last “chase-able” Canyon Wren in the state was a bird in Knox County in 1992.  I missed that bird, so I was motivated not to miss this one.  I woke up at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday morning and was on the road about an hour later.   The location was off the highway about twenty miles and the last three miles were a snowy two-track back to the ranch house.  Getting to the spot was the challenging part because once I got there it did not take long to spot the wren.  Furthermore, he was very cooperative and I got a number of photographs, including a few of him checking out my vehicle.  Below, are a few of these photos.

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The only downside was missing out on seeing a state’s first Anna’s Hummingbird that was reported at an Omaha feeder late Saturday afternoon.   Hopefully that bird sticks around long enough for me to get a opportunity to see it.

Good birding!

Nongame Bird Program

Many thanks to the Mary Sue and Ross Shoemaker and Jan Johnson for making this adventure possible.   

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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