Thursday, April 28, 2016











The rich and burbling song of the house wren is surprisingly loud for such a tiny (4 3/4 Inch) bird. House wrens are named for their preference for living in the close proximity to humans, often in tiny houses we provide. This mostly plain brown bird makes up for it’s small size and drab coloration by being a fierce competitor for nesting boxes. House wrens nest in a variety of cavities from woodpecker holes to natural cavities and nest boxes. They will also nest in flowerpots, drainpipes, and other such sites. They are very competitive about nesting sites, often filling all or most available cavities with sticks. The male builds these “dummy” nests, and the female selects one in which to nest. The twig structures are lined with soft materials, such as grass or hair and the female lays six to eight eggs. She performs the incubation duties, which lasts from 12-14 days. Fledglings leave the nest two or more weeks after hatching. House wrens are known to pierce the eggs of other cavity nesting birds in their territories. House wrens are notable for their lack of field marks. The warm-brown upper parts and tail are matched by a grayish breast. Looking closely, you will see a variety of small white and black spots, the only variation in the bird’s plumage. Males and females look alike and both have the wren like habit of cocking their tails up when perched. The thin, slightly curved bill is ideal for capturing and eating the house wren’s insect prey. They spend their summer in thickets and bushy edge habitat to woodlands. The house wren is a familiar bird in parks, backyards and gardens near human settlements. Their diet is insects; grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, and moths, but they will also eat snails and caterpillars. Come to Songbird Prairie to see the small bird and hear them through the microphones with their powerful song.




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