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Last winter (2009-10) in northwestern Missouri, we had the Christmas Eve blizzard that was followed a week later by another smaller dose of snow right around New Year's Eve, followed by (as I recall) a solid week of single-digit temperatures. On New Year's Day I was on a snowy trail run and found a Carolina Wren dead on top of the snow. (You can read my blog post about it here: http://writebirds.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html)

After that one-two punch of severe winter weather, the Carolina Wren population seemed to disappear from the northwestern corner of the state. From reports that I noted in the 2010 Spring Seasonal Report (The Bluebird, Sept 2010), they seemed to have hung on in residential areas, near reliable feeder stations, and from Kansas City southward. I didn't hear a single singing Carolina Wren in my normal Clay and Clinton county birding spots all spring (including my BBS route north of Plattsburg), but a few started to reappear in June and July.

On the 2010-11 Trimble CBC around Smithville Dec. 18, we had 6 Carolina Wrens. (On the 2009-10 count, which took place Jan 3, 2010, after the big snow and in the midst of the frigid temps, we had a total of 3; in years prior to that we'd get anywhere from 15 to 36 on the CBC.)

It looks like the duration of single-digit / sub-zero temps will be short this time around, so I am hopeful that we won't see another big die-off in our area. The prolonged snow cover probably won't help, though.

Kristi Mayo
Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
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On Feb 2, 2011, at 11:58 AM, Edge wrote:

> I was pleased to see two Carolina Wrens (CARW) on the deck just now.  Storms like this monster are especially hard on Carolina Wrens, whose northernmost range is in southern Iowa.  A look at the second edition of National Geo guide (1987) and the current (5th) shows a slight extension of of the range to cover a little more Iowa.
> 
> "Oldtimers" will recall a "die back" of the Carolina Wren population to southern Missouri following a bad winter.  Was that in the early 80s?  Let's hope conditions don't get that bad for them.
> 
> I'd welcome any discussion about birders' experiences with the CARW and the effects of a harsh winter in the past.
> 
> As to the present, I made up a double batch of lard/peanut butter/cornmeal that the wrens really like (as do woodpeckers, nuthatches, etc.)  I had to be a bit creative when I discovered I had no cornmeal.  Used the "for emergency" cornbread and corn muffin mixes AND had a great excuse to use up the sawdust-like flaxseed stuff the doctor recommended I douse my morning cereal with.
> 
> Red-breasted Nuthatch was the first to find and eat it.  Others are coming, too, including 5 persistent starlings.  They know they're not welcome, and depart quickly when I raise a hand; the others ignore it.  No siskins or creepers here...yet.
> 
> Under 17 inches,
> 
> Edge Wade
> Columbia, MO
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> 
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