Sunday, 30 January 2011


Chamaea fasciata

Photo by Nancy Shogren (Pinterest)

Common name:
wrentit (en); camea (pt); cama brune (fr); herrerillo chochín (es); chaparraltimalie (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

These birds are found along a narrow strip in the Pacific coast of North America, from Oregon down to Baja California.

This small songbird is 14-16 cm long and has a wingspan of 17-18 cm. They weigh 13-16 g.

The wrentit is found in coastal scrubland and in lowland and mountain chaparral. They are also found in forests with dense scrub understory including mature riparian, valley oak (Quercus lobata), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, early successional forests, riparian (Salix sp.) scrub, Coyote bush (Baccahris sp.), poison oak, and blackberry (Rubus sp.) thickets. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 2.300 m.

Their diet includes insects, caterpillars, spiders, fruits and seeds. Seeds become more important in winter, particularly the seeds of the poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobium).

Wrentits mate for life, forming pair bonds only a few months after hatching. Both sexes participate in nest building. The nest is a tidy open cup made of bark strips held together with insect silk, lined with soap plant or grass, placed in crotch of shrub branches. The female lays 3-4 greenish blue eggs which are incubated by both parents or 14-15 days. The chicks fledge 15 days after hatching, but continue to be fed by both parents for up to 41 days.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
With a population of 1,5 million and a relatively large breeding range, this species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years and is thus not considered threatened.

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