This short story is not fiction, it happened to me a couple of days ago, during my photo shooting of birds in my backyard. It’s my habit to prepare my camera gear, my tripod, etc, etc, for my photo sessions. Once ready, I aim my zoom lens to the feeders and surrounding areas looking for birds, they usually concentrate there taking turns to feed, that’s an advantage point for me and I choose what I want to shoot. Sometimes I have to wait for birds to show up and I wait for the best opportunities to shoot or it depends of what species of birds are showing up. From listening at the birds calls and sounds so many times, I have learned to imitate some birds calls by whistling. It gets the attention of some birds. That day, few birds were in the deck area, then I saw a Carolina Wren hopping around on the floor of the deck, I began to whistle like i know when suddenly the C. Wren dropped flat to the floor and started to act like I’d never seen him do before. He kept going around in circle, displaying all feathers. he did that for a while. I shot a series of photos but I was totally intrigued because I didn’t see any other wren in the vicinity nor dust to dust bathe. I researched about this behavior which I suspected it was a ritual dance for mating but I had not heard it mentioned for this bird previously. “As soon as a female wren comes close enough the male wren starts courting the female bird by circling around the bird and continuing on hopping in a stiff pattern. While doing this it puffs out its feathers and fans its tail as it tries to impress the female Carolina wren. Although not that common a sight, it has been reported that some male wrens even fetch and bring female wrens an offering of food while courting the female bird. Once the female bird is attracted to the male wren, they mate and is then bonded for life.” In conclusion, seems like I triggered a sexual reaction with my whistling imitating call of a wren. Since there was no other wren present at that moment the male thought there was an opportunity to woo a mate when it heard my whistle.
Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101