wood-wren defined in 1930 yearwood-wren - Wood-Wren;
wood-wren - Upper plumage olive-green tinged with sulphur-yellow; abroad streak of sulphur-yellow over the eye; sides of head, throat, and insertion of the wings and throat bright yellow; rest of under plumage pure white. Length, nearly six inches.
This warbler arrives in England at the end of April, being later by many days than its two nearest relations, the chiffchaff and willow-wren. As its name implies, it is a bird of the woods, with a preference for such as are composed wholly or in part of oak and beech trees. It is not easily discerned, on account of its restless disposition; also because it chiefly frequents the uppermost parts of the trees it inhabits. Its instinct appears to be to live and hunt for the small insects it preys on among the green leaves at the greatest possible height from the earth; this may account for its love of the beech, which is the tallest of our forest trees. But if difficult to see as it flits lightly from place to place among the higher foliage, it is easy to hear, and its frequently uttered song sounds very loud in the woodland silence, and is strangely unlike that of any other songster. It may be said to possess two distinct songs: of these, the most frequently uttered and unmistakable begins with notes clear, sweet, and distinct, but following more and more rapidly until they run together in a resonant trill, and finally end in a long, tremulous note, somewhat thin and reedy in sound. At longer intervals it utters its other song, or call, a loud, clear note, slightly modulated, and somewhat plaintive, repeated without variation three or four times.
The wood-wren, although so great a lover of the tall tree-tops, breeds on the ground, like the two species described before it, and, like them, builds an oval-shaped domed nest. It is placed among the herbage, and is composed of moss, dry leaves, and grasses, lined with fine grass and horsehair. Feathers are never used in the nest-lining, and in this the wood-wren differs from the two preceding species. Six eggs are laid, transparent white, spotted and speckled with dark brown, purple and grey.
The wood-wren differs from most of the warblers in being exclusively an insect-eater.
A fourth member of this genus, the yellow-browed warbler (Phylloscopus superciliosus), which breeds in Northern Siberia, has been met with as a rare straggler in this country.
Two more warblers, belonging to different genera, must be mentioned here as stragglers to England: the icterine warbler (Hypolais icterina) and the rufous warbler (Aëdon galectodes).
near wood-wren in Knolik
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