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Posts Tagged ‘House Wren’

A Wren Story

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I have a few birdhouses placed around the garden to encourage would-be parents to raise their family in my yard. House wrens are the most common residents, although chickadees also use the boxes periodically. I love the little wrens. They are very vociferous, with a busy song that belies their small size. I usually look for sturdy nest boxes, with good ventilation and easy access for cleaning, but sometimes a more whimsical bird house tempts me. I bought this feline-faced box at a local craft store a couple of years ago.

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It was spurned by all comers last year, and I was pleased when a pair of wrens took up residence this spring. The insistent peeping now rising from the house is evidence of a successful brooding season and the two parents are busy keeping their nestlings fed. Here’s one parent, giving me the evil eye, before dropping off her/his offering to the chicks.

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House Wren

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If you are looking for a way to enliven your garden, you can do no better than to invite a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) to make your yard his home. These vivacious little birds will provide your garden with its own natural soundtrack. Our current wren is pictured above, singing his effervescent babbling-brook song from a treetop at the foot of the garden.

Wrens are not shy birds and readily nest close to human dwellings, a fact that no doubt is reflected in their name. Attracting a wren to your yard is simple. Just provide appropriate nesting boxes. These tiny birds are adaptable, and will check out a range of accommodations, but ideally, a box should be placed about 5 to 8 feet high. A site that receives some sun but is shaded from the hottest part of the day is ideal. It should be out of easy reach for predators such as raccoons, or have a baffle installed. House wrens need an entrance hole of 1 1/4 inches. If you are building your own nest boxes, plenty of plans are available online.

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It’s good to have a few boxes placed in a variety of locations around the yard. Male wrens start several nests in the hope of attracting a female. Which nest start becomes home to his chicks is left to his lady friend to decide. This summer, a House Wren pair successfully fledged young from the box on the left, above. A dummy nest was built in the box to the right.

The birds will also appreciate several sources of water. I have 3 bird baths in the garden.

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This box also appeals to wrens, but this summer a pair of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) raised a family here. Their young fledged about the same time as the wren babies.

I have never used pesticides in my garden, making it a bird-friendly territory. Wrens offer a free insect-control program in return for their housing. Bird parents are kept busy all day hunting for insects to feed their rapidly growing youngsters who leave the nest in an incredibly short period, just 15 to 17 days.

Below is a video that I made a few days ago, a 360 degree panorama of the garden. Unfortunately, my little camera is really not up to this task, and you can here it clicking as the focus changes. However, the bubbly song of the wren can still be heard in the background.

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It’s baby bird season. Throughout the nature blogosphere, posts on baby birds are popping up. Here’s a great post over at The Marvelous in Nature about chickadee fledglings. And how about these cuties? Baby field sparrows. Over at A Passion for Nature, Winterwoman is showing off little house wrens. Not being as intrepid a birder as Seabrooke or Jennifer, I let the baby bird find me. When I walked into the kitchen, there was a young robin sitting on the windowsill. It was probably newly out of the nest, and still being cared for by its parents. My windowsill wasn’t the best place for it to be sitting. I was concerned about a parent running into the window. However, I did enjoy getting a good look at the youngster. I love the speckled breasts of baby robins. It’s when the species looks its most thrush-like, I think. I wasn’t the only one who found the baby of interest. Moey, left, and Tonka were quick to notice the new arrival. I shooed them away from the window, and when I came back a little later, the little robin was gone. I hope he found a better spot to perch.

Speaking of baby birds, here’s the latest on the boreal forest bird nursery. The Save Our Boreal Birds petition, with 60,000 signatures, was presented to the federal government on June 15th by MP Linda Duncan. May it help to preserve a future for many more baby birds.

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