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Bits & Pieces: The amazing house wren

Ann Welch ann4plus1@yahoo.com
Ann Welch ann4plus1@yahoo.com

I have always liked to birdwatch, but never until now picked one bird as my favorite. The tiny, energetic little house wren with its beautiful bubbly song is now my favorite, even though it’s not colorful like many other birds. House wrens are very skilled at finding nesting sites. They love bird houses, but will gladly nest in cans, boots, or other places in your garage.

I first became aware of their wide choices in finding nesting places when I noticed one was nesting in a crack between tiles in one of our outbuildings. You’d never think it would be big enough for a bird nest, but I observed the parents coming and going from the crack and heard the babies inside. Then in the last couple of dayswe had another surprise. We were doing some work outside on one of our buildings, also tile, which had a small hole in one of the tiles. The hole was about 2 1/2 inches long by 3/4 inches wide at the widest, and the little wren came repeatedly carrying insects to feed her babies. We were at most 2 feet from the nest, but she/he didn’t let us discourage feeding of the babies.

It was such a great thing to see. The parent would approach closer and closer until she zipped into the entry to the nest, at one time actually hovering much like a hummingbird does. The next amazing thing that happened was that she would enter the nest with an insect and leave carrying waste from the nest, obviously tending to her house-keeping duties.

We saw her do this several times. The wren’s song is so cheerful that it is easily distinguished from other bird songs, and can be heard through most of the summer. I always look forward to hearing the first wren song in the spring because it is the sure sign that spring as arrived. If you’d like to enjoy watching this charming little bird, put out a bird house with an opening of no more than an inch (to discourage English sparrows and other house nesters). You may be rewarded by the antics and beautiful song of this remarkable little bird.

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