Wrentit, near Lincoln City, Oregon, 30 July 2011 by Greg Gillson.
The Wrentit is a small little mouse of a bird found in coastal scrub and chaparral from extreme northern Baja California Norte to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. It stays hidden and fly-hops from branch to branch, rarely crossing an opening. If it wasn't for its bouncing whistled song and quiet rattling call, no one might ever know it existed!
In the Pacific NW it is only found in Oregon, along the entire coast, inland in clearcuts nearly to the summit of the Coast Range. It is found in SW Oregon inland in the California-type vegetation habitats of the Rogue Valley and Klamath Mountains to Klamath Falls.
In the past century it has slowly expanded its range. It has crawled its way northward in western Oregon to the Umpqua and edges of the southern Willamette Valley. In the past decade or two it has colonized new locations along the edges of both the eastern and western edges of the mid-Willamette Valley. Imagine everyone's surprise when they showed up in the last year at the mouth of the Sandy River into the Columbia east of Portland!
Will it ever cross the Columbia into Washington State? Well, it has been common in Astoria for at least 200 years and hasn't crossed the River, nor even expanded upriver toward Portland. The recent birds in Portland evidently came from the south, not the west.
The bird is not closely related to any other bird in the New World. At present, it is listed with the Old World Babblers--the only New World representative in that group.