We're having an on-going situation with a pair of Carolina wrens, who
initially insisted on trying to build a nest in our newspaper tube. After
pulling out their nesting material numerous times, we bought a wren house
and placed it in dense Japanese maple next to the tube. Of course, they
ignored it and next tried to build their nest in garage whenever I left the
door open and were evicted numerous times. They continued to ignore the wren
In the meantime my wife moved a bunch of house plants onto a stand on the
front porch. Included in the house plant collection was an ivy that had been
trained around a wire trellis. When I poured water on it one day, out flew a
wren, and when I looked, there was an egg in a nest in the center of the
I surrendered and placed a saucer under the plant where I can water it from
the bottom. BTW, there are now four little wrens in the nest that squeak
loudly whenever the parents come with food. For a while we seldom saw the
wrens except when we walked out the door and they flew. Now they ignore us
and appear even when we're sitting in chairs right next to the nest.
Obviously wrens don't like public housing, they're choosy about where they
live, or it's location, location, location...<G>
Wrens are utterly delightful little creatures. I love their song ("Bez,
bez") and their jaunty manner (they go about with their tails tilted up at
At our house here in California, they decided to nest in an old tool
drawer (which still had its handle and label) that had been tossed in the
[Subtract two thousand and (one plus two), plus the "." of course.]
That was a fascinating article, Ann. I always knew that house wrens were
aggressive, but I didn't realize how aggressive. House wrens regularly
nested in the twine boxes of machinery when I was a kid in north central MN,
and chewed out anyone or anything that came near the nest. We don't have
house wrens in northern AR, but I enjoy the antics of the Carolina wrens
that live here and aren't nearly as aggressive. They're regular visitors to
our bird feeders during most of the year, but this is the first time we've
had a nest. BTW, the young fledged last week and we occasionally see the
whole family around the yard.
This morning I was going out to my car, and there were two wrens
screaming away up in a dead tree, I think they were yelling at me,
they watched me get into my truck and drive off to work. Territorial
little guys. My mother has a couple that are constantly trying to get
into her greenhouse, which is a problem, as she's terrified of birds
flying around her head. Many the time I've been called at work to go
home and swoosh a bird out of her greenhouse, or even her kitchen,
once. Usually they're wrens, but once it was a titmouse, and another
was a starling. She's got to learn to close those doors!! <G>
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
Or the windows, Ann... <G> Last fall I opened a window to take in and clean
out a platform feeder that was suspended from the eaves and didn't shut the
window. When I came back in from the garage after cleaning out the feeder,
we had two goldfinches inside the house that had flown in through the open
window. I might add that my wife was not at all happy because they did what
birds "doo" on some curtains. Luckily I had a butterfly net that I had
purchased to snare humming birds that find their way into our garage but
have trouble finding their way out of the big, open door. Those hummers are
the real "bird brains" in the avian community!
Carolina wrens in particular have a very beautiful call. I don't have
many here this year, but last year they were always chriping.
Interestingly, I had one try to start a nest in a birdhouse, but he
gave up. I think the misses had a say in it, so we can't always blame
"nest selection judgement" on the male side ;)
I've found that the birds ignore my birdhouses until they have been up
at least 2 years. Then they fight like crazy over who gets to use
them. I have to wonder if is some type of scent or fume that new
wood gives off.
I think that you may actually have house wrens vs. the Carolina variety.
The HW's tend to build in strange places. If they try to build in the
newspaper tube just put a little sign on it and ask you delivery person to
put the paper in the mailbox -or- do what we do during a New England
winter - set up a bucket on a stick (when the snow banks are too high or
solid packed to get to the mailbox, lol). They could be Carolina's too, but
I think the HW's tend to nest in very strange and inconvenient places (door
wreaths, mail boxes, etc.) more than the CW's do.
Asking on rec.birds is probably a great idea, they know a lot and probably
will have ideas for you. Also, www.enature.com is a great place to ID
things - the CW's have a very distinct white stripe above the eye and the HW
doesn't have such a bright eyebrow.
Good luck and enjoy the babies, they're awfully cute no matter which you
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