Wren, House

house wrenLatin name: Troglodytes aedon

Length, wingspan: 4.75″, 6″

What they eat: Insectivore

Plants that attract: Dense shrubs and landscaping

Where they nest: Tree cavities, nest boxes (4″ sq., 1-1/4″ entrance hole)

My observations: These tiny brown birds with narrowly-striped feathers are most notable for their upswept tails. The males have a lovely warbling call (refer to video below) and the young chicks have annoying, rasping chirps when they’re waiting for a parent to return to the nest with a tasty meal. I love the birds’ voracious appetites for insects but I’m going to spill the beans on a rather nasty secret: House Wrens are very competitive for nesting sites and will pierce other types of birds’ eggs with their beaks, thus killing the embryos and causing the parents to abandon their nests. We were shocked to learn this and saw it happen to the eggs in the nests of Robins and, perhaps more notably, Waxwings that were nesting in our garden for the first time. So while I still welcome all birds to our garden with open arms, I’m less than enthralled with House Wrens now! These birds arrive in our garden in the spring, nest in the summer and migrate south in the fall.

Here’s a video of a House Wren feeding its young:

And this video gives you the opportunity to hear a male’s beautiful song:

Last but not least, this is a quick video I shot with my phone of a baby Wren that I rescued after it flew into our garage. You’ll notice how it starts calling to its mom once it heard her calling out:

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