Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Return of the Wrens

Carolina Wren

Our cramped little suburban/urban lot doesn't allow space for a great deal of wildlife, even though we're very close to some large parks/open spaces. However, one of our persistent visitors are a small family of Carolina Wrens. Carolina Wrens are small, excitable little birds who often hop around with the tails held stiffly up, making them resemble nothing so much as an animated exclamation point. This is appropriate given their character.

Wren defying Gravity

Carolina WrenCarolina Wren

The wrens are also singular for the sheer volume of their call. Wrens have to have about the best Bird-to-noise ratio I know of; Tiny little bird, huge pipes. This fact is appreciated much more when they are not exercising their vocal stylings at 4 in the morning. Which is pretty much when they start, and the continue through most of the morning. Right outside our the french doors in our bedroom. The quality of mercy may not be strained, but the quality of restraint is lucky we do not own firearms.

Carolina Wren
You might as well get up, I can do this all morning. 

Wrens are cavity nesters, so it should not have been a surprise when we found that one enterprising wren mother had built her nest in (literally, excavated into the dirt and roots) of one of our hanging baskets. The engineering on this thing was intense. She excavated a large cavern in the basket, and then constructed a woven nest in the cavern, in situ.  When the plant died and she moved on, I saved the nest, which still had one unhatched egg (a dud).

Wren NestWren NestWren nest

This week we have heard a couple males whaling away at their song, so it's probably about that time again. So, having a spare hour, I built a wooden nesting box to hopefully spare my plants. The boxes are fairly easy to build, so we'll see how it goes. As excruciating as their repetitive shrill song is at 4 in the morning, it is nice to have a small piece of nature to remind us w're not in a completely sterile environment.This is the rough mock will be stained or painted, and the front door will have a hinge or pivot nails (hence the gap at the top, also for ventilation). The hole still needs to be rounded out a little, but for an hour in the garage, I was pretty happy with it.

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Joel said...

Are you going to build another, larger one that is an exact duplicate of your house?

JMBower said...

Not unless the wrens wants to help us out with our house note.