Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren
Cactus Wren. Escondido, California. January 1, 2014. Greg Gillson.

I revisited the San Pasqual Battlefield monument. This time I was able to get a couple of photos of Cactus Wrens just as the sun was setting. This was the 104th bird species for the first day of 2014, birding San Luis Rey River mouth, San Elijo Lagoon, and Romona Grasslands Preserve.

The mechanical, rolling, and accelerating "chug, chug, chug-chug-chug-chugchugchugchug" song (listen on YouTube) is associated most closely with Arizona. It is the State Bird, after all. But sci-fi fans will know this song from the soundtrack of the TV series Stargate SG1 (1997-2007). Every time the SG1 Team traveled to another inhabited planet, you would hear Cactus Wrens singing. It seems the Ancients that built the Stargates must have transplanted those birds all over the galaxy! (Since the show was filmed in Burnaby British Columbia it was not natural ambient local noises. It was purposely added.)

[Coincidentally, last night I was watching Guilt Trip with Marlene. I noted the distinctive song of a Cactus Wren inserted into the soundtrack--guess what? They were in the American SW. Congratulations to the Sound Editor!]

Cactus Wren