Wildlife Wednesday-Wrens Wrejoice

DSCN8356 “Birds are flying over the garden. What are you doing inside the house? Join them! If you can’t join them, at least open the window and greet them!”   ― Mehmet Murat ildan

 

 

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.

 

IDSCN7497t 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, DSCN7640they 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.

 

DSCN7421I 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 DSCN7639knowing 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.

 

 

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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.DSCN7609

 

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.

 

 

 

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“Make a little birdhouse in your soul”
― Linnell Flansburgh

 

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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.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

 

73 comments

  1. Chloris says:

    What a lovely post. They are such delightful little birds.I’ m not sure whether the British wrens are the same as the ones you have but here in winter, wrens roost together for warmth. Although not social birds in summer, sometimes as many as 60 roost together in a nest or bird box after sunset. I saw a wren inspecting a box outside my window yesterday, I do hope it was sizing it up as a winter roost.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I love wrens. Years ago we were renovating a thatched roof house (straw) covered in chicken wire. The wrens were small enough to get through the wire and hollowed out a nest where they raised a brood every year. Our builders used to feed them bits of their sandwiches through the wire!

  3. nicole says:

    Such adorable birds they are!! And I am so glad they returned to your garden to sing you a song! What a sweet treat for you…..outstanding photos by the way! They look as happy as can be in their home! Nicole

  4. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    You know Donna, I am going to try building a new wren house this Winter. I have plans! I enjoyed the wrens this year, too. They nest in – not my Grandfather’s designed wren house – but an ornamental birdhouse on the chain link among the grapevines – the one I can’t clean. Last year they weren’t here but this year they were back. I so enjoy watching them flit about the garden. I saw mine a couple of weeks ago but not recently. I love your wren house. Are the wrens still around in your garden? I hope they come back for the both of us.

    • Donna says:

      I never see mine once they fledge. I think they seek cover behind us in the wild area. When mine first came a few years ago they nested in an ornamental house too. I can’t wait to see your new wren house Kathy. I will always have a special house just for the wrens as I can never get enough of their flitting about.

  5. Debra says:

    I wanted to press ‘love.’ These are among my absolute favourite birds and your photos are amazing. They can be difficult to photograph but you made it look easy.

  6. austinagrodolce says:

    The only thing sweeter than a wren’s song are your words written about them. A fabulous tribute to one of the garden’s most cheerful visitors. I hope yours will be back to serenade you year in and year out!

  7. Sue Link The Northern New York Gardener says:

    I love the wrens as well. You always know that spring has arrived in New York when you hear the song of the house wren. We’ve been so lucky to have these birds around our place for several years now. I think one of my pairs had three broods this year. They even like birdhouses just hanging from trees. I’ve had some gourd houses in trees and they love them.
    Loved your photos and your lovely story.

  8. Tina says:

    Such beautiful photos! I love wrens too-their songs, energy and spunkyness! So glad that you enjoyed them and their families this year. I have seen them here, though they are migratory and I believe they tend to be on the Gulf Coast for winter. Thanks so much for participating in Wildlife Wednesday and for providing refuge for critters in your garden.!

  9. Dorothy says:

    I reallly enjoyed your post! We don’t have wrens around here. I wish we did. I would love to hear their songs. Blue Jays dominate our yard, along with the mourning doves and hummers. Although last week there was a group of robins hopping about for a few days. Those wrens are certainly adorable little birds!

    • Donna says:

      Thank you! How lovely to have robins popping in again. We had a rare bluejay recently in our garden. They stick to the woods behind us usually.

  10. susan troccolo says:

    I just love this post Donna. I love the photos that make it seem as though you have your own little Wren family! And, in a way, you do. It must be one of the joys of staying in the same home for many years, that we get to “know” our birds, sometimes individually. I am always charmed by Robins, Oregon Juncos (although they are bossy), and House Finches when their fledglings are fearless around me. I will say to them: “Ah, I see that you were born here!” No wonder the young bird already knows me. And I do have a song sparrow that has chosen my garden as his. He picks the highest spot in the garden and sings his little heart out. What a delightful post!

    • Donna says:

      Isn’t it divine to have these creatures share our space and sing their glorious song almost saying thank you for this beautiful place….glad you loved the post Susie!

  11. Andrea says:

    Very nice Donna! I love your title and found this post on wrens quite interesting. I don’t know much about them but I think I have seen some in my garden too. I need to pay more attention…

    P.S. I got your package! Thank you!

  12. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    A divine post Donna – not sure how you managed to capture these little charmers. Know what you mean about their song – they lift our spirits if not our souls

    p.s. I know I remark on it often but how do you come up with such perfect quotes?

    • Donna says:

      You seem to really appreciate the quotes I find Laura. I do spend quite a bit of time looking in several sources for just the right one as they speak to me and are often inspiring as I write the post.

      I was happy to capture these great shots this year. It took patience but it was worth watching them and it got me up and around after my surgery.

  13. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Fabulous photos of these energetic birds! I too adore wrens. Every spring they sing from a perch on our back deck. They have a loud song for such a small bird! We’ve never had them nest in birdhouses but I know they nest somewhere around our garden. Great post!

    • Donna says:

      So glad you enjoyed the photos Karin. They are loud. They woke me before dawn every week this summer even if I didn’t want to wake…we heard them even through closed windows….wonderful you have them close by too.

  14. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    They are cute little buddies, aren’t they? I love their song, too. I think every gardener has his/her favorite bird. Mine has to be the chickadees–because they’re with us year-round and they have a sweet summer song. But the wrens are sweet, too. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I agree Beth…gardeners have their favorites. I think my year round favorite is the bluebirds. I see and hear the chickadees more in winter and early spring when their song isn’t drowned out by louder birds like the wrens in my garden. But chickadees are another sweet little bird I hope to capture more in pictures too.

  15. RamblingWoods says:

    I understand how you feel and how nice that wildlife can reach so deeply into our souls and bring us such happiness and then sadness as they move on. I have wanted to put up a wren house, but I need one that is house sparrow proof even though wrens are tough. My late neighbor who had the geese had a wren house and I wonder how often the wrens looked for that house she had for all those years..I would like to do that in Jan’s honor.. Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Michelle if you purchase a house that is specific to wrens then swallows or sparrows will not be able to get in as the hole is too small for them. No one has penetrated the tiny hole yet except for the wrens in our wren house.

  16. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Wrens are one of my favourite birds Donna, and I know exactly what you mean about the OCD! I’ve not had them nesting here yet, what a treat, and just when you must have been feeling in need of a boost to the spirits.

  17. Island Threads says:

    I’m so pleased for you Donna that your wrens came back, a lovely post and I listened to their song and can see why you like it, I am lucky in that our European wren is in my garden all year, they breed in the trees and shrubs in my garden, with so few birds in winter that is when I enjoy their song most, if you are interested you can see a picture and hear them here:
    https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/w/wren/index.aspx
    the song is higher than the American wren, but both are small brown birds, I hope your wrens return next year and every year, do you know where wrens go in winter, is it just south for warmer weather, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Frances how lucky to have your wrens all year in your garden….I love your wrens song and I agree it is a bit higher. They are similar in appearance too. Our wrens head south to the gulf coast states and Central America. Hopefully they will be back to rent their summer home again.

    • Donna says:

      How beautifully said Susan…it seems the world got it right and my soul was healed with the wrens this summer. Thank you for your special words.

  18. Nadezda says:

    Donna, you’ve taken wonderful photos! I know to photograph birds is very hard – they are too fast! I love them although wrens are not seen here. Lucky you listening to this nice song!

    • Donna says:

      I agree I am lucky Nadezda and thank you for your compliment on my pictures. They are hard to capture. I had dozens of bad pictures for every good one. But it was a fun challenge to get them captured in these pictures.

  19. Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    I’m in love with them also…it took forever for us to figure out what they were, no one seemed to know.

    For me, it’s the Red winged Blackbirds that make my heart stir….the song, the little patch of red, the way they cling to the bull rushes…

    Jen

  20. Casa Mariposa says:

    Wrens and chickadees are some of my favorite birds, too. They nest in our garden every year. It’s surprising the parents don’t drop dead from exhaustion from the constant feeding. It does feel like spring has arrived when I see them.

  21. Helene says:

    Thanks for your lovely post, with beautiful photos. It must be great to have them in your garden every year. I have a huge cedar tree in my garden with nesting songbirds every year. I don’t really know what kind of birds they are, I am not very good at hearing the difference between them, but I love to sit in the garden and hear them – and I also hear them in my bedroom early in the morning at dawn when they start to sing.

  22. Cindy Cousineau says:

    Ok I’m sitting over here with a chuckle going on thinking of how I ran from window to window watching and looking out for Purple Martins as you do your House Wrens. I read some. Of that forklore years ago and didn’t pay it much attention. I love the way you captured them being busy, have a wonderful weekend

    • Donna says:

      Cindy isn’t it funny how critters can affect us…I love the folklore and history of animals as it is interesting. I hope the critters you see have brought you joy this past week and that continue to do so this coming week.

  23. Jason says:

    What great pictures, and what a cute bird. Good timing that they built their nest where and when they could provide some much needed diversion.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Deb…I do love watching them. They chased several squirrels from the garden as the squirrels go too close to the trees near the wren house…it was funny to see them dive bomb the squirrels who went screaming from the yard banished for the duration. They mean business!

  24. Christina says:

    I love all the wonderful joys nature brings us and like you miss the sounds when the birds leave. Late summer, sometimes earlier, but I don’t know why, the Sardinian warblers come and sing their hearts out, like your wrens it is such a happy sound I feel privileged to hear them sing.

    • Donna says:

      Christina, I checked out your cute little warblers and can see why you love their song…bursting with joy and so bubbly. Here’s to hearing our little friends again next year in our gardens!

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