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Date:         Wed, 21 Jun 2006 09:50:34 -0400
Reply-To:     Walter.Frank.Chambers@STUDENT.MERCER.EDU
Sender:       Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Walt Chambers <Walter.Frank.Chambers@STUDENT.MERCER.EDU>
Subject:      Re: House Wrens, proliferation of, ne DeKalb County, June 21,
              2006.
Comments: To: Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Content-type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

>===== Original Message From Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell

Hello GABers - I rent a place during the school year in NorthCrest subdivision off Chamblee-Tucker Rd and have noticed (similar to Jeff's neighborhood) about half-dozen or so birds singing the past 2 springs, but given that I haven't lived there for any length of time, I didn't know what the past status was for this bird, but thought it may be noteworthy...I guess it is!

Walt Chambers Columbus

<lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM> ===== >James Brooks' post reminded me that for some time I've been meaning to say something about House Wrens. Here in Tucker in northeast DeKalb County, my observation is that over the years this species has steadily increased its numbers in our subdivision. We moved here in 1986 and I do not recall any House Wrens up until the early '90s when I heard one about a block away. Their numbers have grown since then, peaking, I hope, this year to maybe 5-6 territorial males in our small subdivision. Given their homocidial tendencies, I see this as an alarming situation. I recall Art Hurt saying that he saw a House Wren enter a box of young chickadees at The Clyde Shepard Nature Preserve not too far from here, then exit it, leaving the young inside dead. So far, I've not seen any evidence of such behavior here. Conversely, Carolina Wrens have been expanding northwardly for years. I wonder about the interaction of these two. I am reminded of an old biological axiom: that two similar species cannot for long occupy the same biological/environmental niche ( Fish Crow v. American Crow come to mind, but that's for later). The southerly expansion of the House Wren has been going on for many years. In his Georgia Birds (1958), Thomas Burleigh says that the first record of its breeding in Georgia occured at Athens in 1950. By the time of the most recent Annotated Checklist of Georgia Birds (2003, Georgia Ornithological Society), its status is shown as an uncommon and local breeder south to the Fall Line. Burleigh, quoting speculation from another article, said that maybe the hotter temperatures of south Georgia will halt their southerly expansion, but here, in Dekalb County, the record warm temperatures that we began noticing back in the late '80s and increasing into the '90s seems to correspond with their increase. Curious. I hope some of you find this interesting and that it may stimulate careful observation of House Wrens as they increase in our state .

Jeff Sewell Georgia Rare Bird Alert Georgia Ornithological Society 770-493-8862 lambertsewell@mindspring.com

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