About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Question about House Wren Migration

From your web site I see you may be willing to answer a question. Raking up the final (hopefully) leaves of fall today, Sunday, November 13th, I still have my summer house wren angrily complaining of my presence in his yard. I would thought he would have started south by now. Is he just enjoying the warm fall and leaving late or are there wintering house wrens? Thank you, Dave

Most House Wrens in North America migrate to the southern U.S. and Mexico for winter. You didn't say where you live, but here in mid-Michigan, House Wrens are gone usually by October. But the migration south isn't as hurried as the migration north. Birds may linger as long as there are still a lot of food sources available.

If you go to http://ebird.org/ you can submit your observation of a House Wren in November and check out how many other people have also had sightings. I went to ebird.org, clicked explore data and then went to range and point maps. I put in House Wren and the date range from Nov to Nov. My results are at: http://ebird.org/ebird/map/houwre?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&mr=on&bmo=11&emo=11&yr=2001-2011&byr=2001&eyr=2011

It's more common to have a Carolina Wren year-round. Carolina Wrens are larger, lighter brown, and longer tailed than House Wrens and have a white chest and eyebrow stripe. However, both birds are very susceptible to frigid weather with ice and snow. An otherwise healthy wren population can be hit hard by storms and survival might depend on feeders. So stock up on peanuts and suet. Thank you for writing, Sarah

Thank you for your reply. Sorry that I did not state that I am right here in Ingham county.   Stockbridge to be exact. I am sure it is a house wren. I would have figured this bird would be less territorial since nesting season is long gone. Though this pair did have two clutches. So I am surprised at the territorial vociferousness this bird still exhibits. Have enjoyed birding since my ornithology class over 35 years ago. Though not as much effort is put into it as in years past. Again, thank you for your help and input. Happy birding, Dave

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