Mystery Song From Carara is Rufous-breasted Wren

Post image for Mystery Song From Carara is Rufous-breasted Wren

by Rich Hoyer on April 1, 2012 · 2 comments

in Birding Neotropics

Judging from the very few daring guesses, this was a real tough sound quiz.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I was quite surprised when I looked up to see that this nearly ultrasonic song was being given by a Rufous-breasted Wren, Pheugopedius rutilus. As a reminder, here is the song from last week:

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And here is a more typical song, recorded earlier the same day, also at Carara National Park, Costa Rica:

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And look at the sonogram – there is no overlap in frequencies between the two song types.

Of course, the questions I’d like answered are: What does this odd song type mean? Is it given frequently? Or is it an aberration? Wrens aren’t known to mimic (with the exception of the outlying genus Odontorchilus), so the one suggestion that this might be an imitation of Gray-crowned Yellowthroat probably isn’t the answer (and I don’t think Rufous-breasted Wrens often get a chance to hear them anyway.)

Anyway, here are a few more photos of some of the Carara National Park specialties that one might see on the same trail where Rufous-breasted Wrens are common.

Streak-chested Antpitta is shy and often missed here.

Black-throated Trogon is a classic forest mid-story trogon, clearly preferring to have solid canopy overhead.

Red-capped Manakin is common, but often displays on leks in the upper mid-story, well out of sight.

Photo at top: Rufous-breasted Wren in Panama by Francesco Veronesi, Flickr user name fveronesi1

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gunnar Engblom April 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Wow, totally fooled! Thanks for the quiz, Rick!


Pat ODonnell May 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Those darn wrens are always up to vocal shenanigans! I have heard hundreds of Rufous-breasted Wrens in Costa Rica but don’t recall hearing that them do that.


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