Thursday, October 22, 2020

Finding Rock Wrens

Rock Wren - William L Finley NWR - Oct 21, 2020

 Jeanette and I saw our first Rock Wren in the rocky cliffs of Buskin Mountain State Park in Arizona while volunteering there in 2009.  It's not a bird that is normally seen in Oregon's Willamette Valley, so I was surprised when Jeanette woke me up early yesterday morning saying she had canceled her events of the day, pickleball and water aerobics. She wanted to go to William L Finley National Wildlife Refuge, because Pam Otley, a friend of ours, had reported finding a Rock Wren. It took some coffee and a little bit of time to get my bearings, do the research on the location, and come up with a plan.  Pam had reported finding it in an old rock quarry on Pigeon Butte, so I plotted a route based on what I could make out from maps.  Arriving at the refuge, we were immediately distracted by Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and searching Northern Harriers along Bruce Road. Eventually we found a parking lot and made our way up Pigeon Butte and to the quarry.  We had bright sunshine and great views, but the quarry was pretty quiet.  We both where ready to accept that we had a great hike even if we didn't find the Rock Wren, when Jeanette suddenly exclaimed, "there it is!"  I snapped a number of photos.  Our day was complete. You can see our complete observation list here


  1. Great find and picture! I would not have expected that bird west of the cascades!

  2. I wonder if your wren will be there during breeding season???? What a find!

    1. So far only one has been seen. My understanding is that it takes two. :)