[CT Birds] Winter Wrens

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Sat Jul 3 14:14:48 EDT 2010

Dear Steve:

You wrote:

I had a Winter Wren just a few steps to the west of Nettleton's Ravine in the spicebush/skunk cabage/hemlocks.? There was another Troglodytes troglodytes (I love that Old World Name - 'Reminds me of the HG Wells classic, The Time Machine) further down the ravine in the hemlocks to the west.?

Yeah, Troglodytes troglodytes is normally the only wren species found in Europe. In England it is just called Wren.  (The Dutch name Winterkoning means "winter king." I guess in North America we put the Dutch and English together. In some European languages "king" birds are wrens.) Winter Wrens usually nest in some kind of natural cavity, not so much a hole or tree cavity like the House Wren, a mass of roots, a crevice, or the like. Their nest is constructed with a entance hole on the side, so it does look like a little cave. "Troglodyte" has come to mean "cave dweller," literally "hole enterer." The Morlocks in Wells' "The Time Machine" were the troglodytes, the underground "cave dwellers" of the future. Also the Troggs, the band that recorded the 60's hit "Wild Thing," got their name from shortening troglodyte. I guess wild things would live in caves--the music and lyrics of the song were both pretty primitive.

Jim Bair

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