This past June, as I was recovering from surgery, I heard a song drift in with the wind that lifted my heart and spirits. It was a bubbly, cheerful song that rose from the treetops saying, “We’re back!” and “Honey this looks like a good place to look for a home.” I rose slowly and searched the trees. I knew they were here, but I had to see them to believe it. And then there they were on the little house just reserved for them.
It was the wrens. The House Wrens. Those happy, chubby, no-nonsense birds that I hope will return each year. It has been two years since we heard the wrens singing in our garden. So this year it was particularly sweet when they serenaded us again. If you have never heard the wren’s song, you are missing one of the most joyous songs that nature can give us.
And once the wrens looked around the garden, they checked out the wren house. It was perfect and they began to move in. It is a treat to watch wrens build a nest. They bring in small twigs, and what a comedy to see them turn the twigs this way and that so they can fit them through the hole and into the nest.
And once the nest was made, they raised their first brood. A noisy group, they were keeping their momma and papa busy through rain, wind and sun as the adults worked from sun-up to sundown to provide nice juicy bugs for the babes. And as they grew, the babes kept up their hungry cry peeking their heads out of the front door to see their surroundings. I knew once they started checking out the garden, they would be gone.
I am always sad when the wrens fledge. Because the family leaves for a while, and the garden is lonely and almost silent. But it was 2 weeks later that the wrens were back again. I ran to the window when I heard the call. I called out, “the wrens are back.” But would they stay. Oh I prayed they would as I really did want to hear their song for a while longer after such a long absence.
Then I saw them rebuilding the nest in their special little house. And before we knew it the second brood was busy bossing their parents around to feed them constantly. I relished each day they were here knowing they would be gone in a couple of weeks. I never seem to see them leave, but I seem to know just when they will go.
I can’t explain it really why these birds affect me the way the do. They tire me out just watching them hop around never quite sitting still. I think if there was bird OCD, the wrens would have it. But there is something in the way they move, their cute little profile, their jubilant chorus. I will wish and hope for their return in late spring next year. We will be sure to have the summer house, they love to rent, all cleaned out and ready for them.
Some Interesting Facts About Wrens:
- They have one of the largest ranges of any songbird in the North America. Wrens breed from Canada down to Central America and into South America.
- They are small birds, but fight for nesting sites with large birds. I have seen them chase off larger birds, throw the nest out of the house and any eggs that were in the nest.
- House Wrens lay up to 10 eggs which fit somehow in their little house. The nest must not get too hot or too cold if the eggs are to survive. We keep our wren box shaded about 5 feet up on a mature ash tree. It faces SE and out of the direct wind.
- There is a lot of folklore worldwide about wrens. One such story is from Ireland. Wrens were thought to be able to tell the future, and there are records going back hundreds of years that tell of the wren’s behavior predicting future events.
With this wildlife story, I am joining in with the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. Please check them both out.
“Make a little birdhouse in your soul”
― Linnell Flansburgh
Next up on the blog:
Monday, I will have another review of my garden as I look back at September. And Wednesday brings a Tree Following post.
I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
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