Wren Houses

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All About The Wren

House WrenThe tiny little bird with the big voice and uplifted tail is common throughout most of North America. The House Wren is cinnamon brown above, buff or gray below, and has fine bars on the wings and tail.

Their loud song and aggressive defense of their territories give the impression of a much larger bird than their 4-3/4" size.  Their bubbling whistle may be heard in shrubs and bushes, farmyard and gardens, orchards, and parks.  They like the undergrowth and thickets, but others like marshy areas. 

These nervous little bundles of energy are quick to accept a nesting box for a home.  The number of houses offered them in recent years have contributed to their increasing numbers, and a house with a small entrance will protect the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) and its family from the dangers most nesting birds encounter.

The wren's exuberant personality endears him to humans, but he is sometimes not the best neighbor to his fellow wrens and other songbirds, visiting their nests and piercing their eggs with his long, slender bill.

The male and female look alike, but only the male is the singer, and most of his singing occurs during courting times. Both sexes give a harsh, scolding call characteristic of most wrens. 

The male also starts building nests in anticipation of a mate.  He will stuff a house with twigs, nearly enough to exclude himself, and then sometimes build a nest in another nearby house or cavity.  When the female arrives, she chooses the nest she likes best and lines it with grasses before laying 5 to 6 speckled eggs in it.

This habit of the male wren can take up several of your birdhouses, leaving fewer for other songbirds.  You may wish to put up more houses.  Or, by observing the wrens, you may discover where the male's territory is (about half an acre), and move some nest boxes out of that territory.  If you come near a nest, the birds will scold you loudly, letting you know that a nest is close by. 

The upturned tail of the Wren is not indicative of a happy disposition as sometimes believed but generally accompanies their scolding, indicating that they are disturbed. 

House Wrens are friendly and will live near human habitation.  They prefer suburban yards or open areas with trees and shrubs nearby.  The House Wren migrates to southern states for the winter.

 Species

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