Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Wren's Song


Remember this handsome guy? I included a photo of him in my Seasonal Celebrations post earlier this month. He sings to me each morning near the kitchen window. Well, he isn't really singing to me. He is crooning to his lady love. This little bird can belt out an amazing number of decibels for his size. His loud teakettle-teakettle song is unmistakable.


All his serenading seems to have worked because the lady has been busy building a nest. But not in one of the many nesting boxes around the garden. No, she thought one of the pots along the walkway would be a much better spot. And when I peaked in there yesterday I found....


three eggs! And, today there were four! But, I didn't dare take a photo and over extend my viewing welcome. Plus the nest is tucked in amongst the sweet potato vine and has a very small opening and I didn't want disturb it. While she is sitting on the eggs, Mr. Wren is constantly singing. Defending his territory. Its a guy thing. No really, the male sings 3-11 times per minute! And here is a cool fact, a captive Carolina Wren reportedly sang 3,000 times in one day. Now, that requires some strong vocal cords and endurance!


This candelabra is one of his favorite places to perch and sing. Unfortunately, the only way for me to photograph him is through the kitchen door so the quality of the shots aren't terrific. I tried keeping the door open but he flew into the house a few times so now it must stay closed.


Carolina Wren's are found year-round in the Southeast but have been expanding their range, especially during warmer winters. They are dwellers of dense vegetation and my experience is that during nesting season they prefer human made spots such as boots & shoes, bins in the garage, pots, windowsills and mailboxes. A nesting pair can produce several broods a year and are monogamous and will stay together for year.

Good luck Mr. & Mrs. Wren. We look forward to meeting your expanding family!

23 comments:

  1. Carolina Wrens are among the most interesting of our backyard birds. One of the fascinating things about their behavior is that the male and female in a pair often sing duets! You can read a bit about their duets here:

    http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Publications/Birdscope/avian_duetting.html

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    1. Thank you Dorothy! That is fascinating...thanks for the link.

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  2. I smiled as I read this post because you so well captured the personality of Carolina wrens. Yes, they investigate every open door and seem to have no fear. They love to nest in potted plants. I am impressed by how cleverly they conceal their nests. And they are loud, loud, loud for such little birds. They have many songs, but I can always tell when it's a wren because of the volume. One of them sounds like, "Easter, Easter, Easter." I think your photos are great - I've always had a hard time photographing Carolina wrens because they hop about so much. And you're right, they are extending their range. Carolina wrens appeared on the island I visit in Maine for the first time a couple of years ago.

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    1. Sheila I was sitting on the back deck reviewing some photos in my camera when this Wren landed on the railing unbeknownst to me and about blew my ear out he was so loud! Amazing that you are seeing them all the way up in Maine!

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  3. Awww, I love the sound of a wren. I think your photos are great! How sweet that they've nested where you can peek at the nest, and you'll soon have more of the family entertaining you!

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    1. I hope the nest is successful! I always worry when nests are in pots because I am afraid to water them and get the nest too wet. On the other hand, if the plants die then they won't be protecting the shelter.

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  4. I always thought that ALL birds laid eggs in spring...shows how little I know of birds.

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    1. Janie, most birds do lay in spring but if they lay several broods a year they will lay into summer. Wrens will lay up to three broods a year. So they are busy birds!

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  5. 3-11 times per minute! That is an impressive amount of singing! It is interesting that they like the candelabra and prefer human made spots to make a nest. The mottled eggs are beautiful. Hopefully there will be baby wrens soon. Have a great weekend Karin!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! The eggs are beautiful aren't they! I wish I could get a better photo but the nest is really well concealed in the sweet potato vine and it is not worth disturbing it just for a good photograph.

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  6. I love how the wrens pick the most unlikely spots for a nest. We once had a pair nest in our rosemary bush on our elevated deck. Now they have moved to fancier accommodations - the new bluebird house. I think they may have displaced the chickadees that had originally set up shop there, which wasn't very nice, but who am I to judge?

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    1. I have read that Wrens will displace other birds and even destroy nests. I try not to judge either :O) The wrens are constantly trying to build nests in my hubby's workshop and in his shoes. It is pretty comical!

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  7. Wonderful post. So great that you have a wren nest with eggs. By the way, I just discovered that WordPress put three of your comments in spam. Hopefully that won't happen again.

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    1. Interesting. I tried commenting on a blog recently and it wouldn't accept my comment stating that it looked like spam. Hmmm....

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  8. What wonderful birds. I am always happy to see/hear one. Thanks for the pictures, you captured his personality very well.

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    1. Thanks Ellen! It is nice to hear them signing all day long. They definitely let you know they are around!

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  9. I adore the wren song but have not heard it this year...wish they would nest again in the garden. But the bluebirds, sparrows and now robins are busy nesting in the yard...we seem to have a bird hotel.

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  10. Karin, I love your posts.Today I walk out of the house to irrigate and I say my first Monarch of the season. So I run in the house to grab the camera and I spied my first black swallowtail. But alas the Monarch was no where to be seen. Did capture some nice images however.

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    1. Isn't that how it works! I have often run to fetch my camera and by the time I get back the insect is long gone. They don't wait around for the camera op! So glad to hear that you spotted a Monarch. I haven't seen any yet this spring/summer. Lots of milkweed blooming in the garden though. Typically I see more of them in the fall than summer but it is disheartening that I haven't seen any at all. I hope you have some cats and see many more butterflies!

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  11. I have House Wrens in and around the property, and they have become favorites. I love the bold and boisterous song which he flaunts each morning and evening on the deck railing outside. I have been lucky enough to witness their nesting sites a few times and feel blessed to have watched the little ones grow and fledge. I hope I am lucky enough to witness it again. They are so fascinating. You captured that quick and intelligent nature so well. A wonderful post about these lovely birds.

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  12. Your photos are good taken from behind the door. I too have the same problem if I open a door. They leave very quickly. I see very few wrens in my garden, so it was really nice to see Mr. Wren and family to be!

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  13. Lucky you getting to watch this pair up close. Interesting that singing keeps the other birds away.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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