Range and habitat
This species is fairly common in some areas, in oak and pine-oak woods and clearings in the highlands of Mexico (1600 m to 3000 m elevation) from Oaxaca north to Coahuila and Sonora and in neighboring southeastern Arizona.
Its appearance is very similar to the house wren's, 11.5 to 12.5 cm (4.5 to 4.7 inches) long, with brown head and upperparts, barred with black on the wings and narrow tail. It has a stronger buff eyebrow stripe and black eyestripe than the house wren. Below it is buffy, grayer (more like the house wren) in subspecies cahooni of northern Mexico and Arizona, more ocher in the other subspecies. The flanks and undertail coverts have dark brown bars.
The voice is also similar to the house wren's. The song consists of "scratchy, chortling, warbling, and trilling" sounds, and there are scolding calls starting with a ch sound, as well as a mewing call. One sound not in the house wren's repertoire is "a bright springy trill, tseeeurr or ssreeuur, suggesting a rock wren."
Some authorities do not list the brown-throated wren as a separate species. An argument for lumping it with the house wren is that house wrens in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico have characters intermediate between the two species.
Here the brown-throated wren is considered a separate species following the Handbook of the Birds of the World. A 2005 DNA study corroborated this split by suggesting that the brown-throated wren was not only a separate species but likely not the house wren's closest relative. For further information, see Troglodytes.
As a separate species, it comprises five subspecies: brunneicollis, cahooni, compositus, nitidus, and vorhiesi.
- Lepage, Denis (2003–2007), Avibase - the world bird database, retrieved Sep 22, 2007
- Howell, Steve N. G.; Webb, Sophie (1995), A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, Oxford University Press, p. 568, ISBN 0-19-854012-4
- Howell and Webb, Birds of Mexico, p. 567 (House Wren)
- American Ornithologists' Union (1998–2006), Check-list of North American Birds, retrieved Sep 24, 2007
- Clements, James F. (2007), The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (Sixth ed.), Cornell University Press, ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9, according to Lepage, op. cit.
- Martínez Gómez, Juan E.; Barber, Brian R.; Peterson, A. Townsend (2005), "Phylogenetic position and generic placement of the Socorro Wren (Thryomanes sissonii)" (pdf), Auk 122 (1): 50–56., doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2005)122[0050:PPAGPO]2.0.CO;2, ISSN 0004-8038
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