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.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Little brown bird with long beak

With all the big, bright new birds at the feeders you might overlook the arrival of a small brown bird. House Wrens are small, squat birds that lack bold or characteristic markings. They have long, curved bills and their heads, napes, and backs are almost uniformly brown with their throats and chests a uniform light grey.

But their bubbly song and habit for eating masses of bugs make it a very popular bird to many people. And House Wrens like people just as well. The “house” in their name was given to them for their preference for nesting near peoples’ houses. They are famous for taking advantage of unusual nesting places such as mailboxes, flowerpots, boots, house lights, and of course old woodpecker holes, natural crevices, small birdhouses and gourds.

The male House Wren begins to lay claim to a few nesting cavities in the spring by filling them with more than 400 small twigs. When the female arrives, she inspects all the nesting areas and twig structures the male has worked on so hard. She chooses which site she likes best and takes over, adding the nest cup and lining it with grass, inner bark, hair, and feathers. Wrens will usually lay 2 broods in the nesting season from May to July.

Because the male wren builds several starter nests for the female to choose from, the other nests may then be used by the male to raise a second brood with another female or remain in place to discourage other male wrens from nesting in the same territory. So keep an eye out. If the female didn’t choose your nest this time, it doesn’t mean it won’t be chosen later.

There is no exact distance wren houses need to be placed. In general, a suburban back yard or garden is large enough for one or two families of wrens. The size of the territory for the male wren is about a half acre area and two to three houses within that territory is acceptable. The best way to attract house wrens and chickadees to your houses is to place the boxes very close to a bush or small tree. Wrens look for the shade and protection at the edge of woodlots where thick bushes provide nesting materials and food. Five feet from the ground is the average height to hang the house.

Related Articles:
Nest of sticks in bluebird box http://bit.ly/vUB9v2
Question about House Wren Migration http://bit.ly/MMTgSh
Quick Fun Facts on Wrens http://bit.ly/v5XVoU
Hanging & Placement of Wren Bird Houses http://bit.ly/rBLsGQ
Close-up of 5 species of wrens http://bit.ly/L6scsW

No comments: