Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cobb's Wren

Troglodytes cobbi
The Cobb's Wren is a small, mousy brown bird endemic to the Falkland Islands. They tend to live near shorelines and feed on the invertebrates that live among the beach grasses and kelp. Their coloration and ground-dwelling nature makes them hard to spot, but they love to sing. You will most likely hear them before you see them.

Cobb's Wrens are one of the many, many species of island bird that is suffering from the introduction of non-native species. These little Wrens adapted to lives nesting in long, dense tussac grasses and ground crevasses. This allowed them, and their eggs, to remain safe from the avian predators that they share their home with.

...But then the people showed up on the Falkland Islands and they brought rats and cats with them on the ships. These new predators were easily able to hunt down the docile birds and their ground-laid eggs.

Cobb's Wrens are now completely extinct on the two largest islands in the Falkland chain, and are restricted to a couple of small, rat and cat free islands. Rat eradication has been ongoing for the past decade, with success on several of the islands. Population surveys are also ongoing, and their are hopes that the rat removal will encourage the Wrens to recolonize.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Falkland Islands
Size : Length up to 5in (13cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Troglodytidae -- Genus : Troglodytes -- Species : T. cobbi

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