Friday, June 8, 2012

Friendly Little House Wrens

      Sometimes when in the garden, I hear a bird singing up in the pin oak tree.  A booming song, fit for a big bird like a blue jay or robin.  I glance up, hoping to see the gifted singer.  Seeing nothing.  Yet there is a movement, there is a tiny bird.  A house wren, singing in all its glory.  Singing for my benefit.
      I have hung bird houses in the garden hoping to attract the wrens to build a nest.  And it has worked.  The birds are constantly flitting about the garden, singing and talking to me as they go about their business.  Singing to me.  They perch just feet away, and will move about as I do.  Not to scold me, but to sing their delightful big songs.  And now they are even more feverishly busy, as they have little mouths to feed.

Baby house wrens,  June 7, 2012
      In this picture you can see two little beaks.  Some days ago I could hear a faint chirping from the nest, almost as if from a distance.  But the babies must have learned that more noise equals more food, as now there is a constant racket emanating from the house.

Maybe the alpha chick surveying his new back yard

      Here one of the parent birds sits impatiently upon a tomato stake, waiting for me to leave the area.  The flash of the camera early this morning seems to bother the birds, because they usually don't seem to mind if I am nearby.  It took awhile for them to land on the house, then they would land, drop off the food tidbit, and quickly dash away.

Feeding time
      A friend of mine built most of the bird houses that I have around the yard.  This one is made from scrap Trex lumber from a deck project.  Has a little locking panel in the bottom to clean out the house.  One heavy duty little bird house.  Unfortunately, he cut the entry hole big enough for sparrows to fit in, and being the bullies that they are, they will take over a wren house by force.  So looking for a way to reduce the hole size, I thought of the neck of the 1.5 liter liquor bottles.  You can see the plastic ring in the photo above.  Cut off maybe the top three inches of the bottle, remove the little pouring insert in the top opening, and hopefully your new restrictor will jam tightly into the bird house opening.  Reducing the opening to a size that only house wrens or chickadees can squeeze through.  The fun little birds.
      Maybe a month ago as I was planting a row of onions under the bird house, I heard quite a ruckus above me.  A sparrow was trying to get into the house!  A distraught wren was perched nearby on a tomato stake.  The little wren was raising its wings and dropping its beak, trying to look menacing.  Bouncing up and down.  Cutest little menacing thing I have ever seen. The sparrow ignored the wren, pushed and shoved at the opening, then pecked angrily at the plastic collar, then flew away.  And that is why that early this morning, I still have a bird house full of noisy little baby house wrens.


  1. House wrens sing beautifully! We don't have any at our house, but this brings back wonderful memories of sitting on my Grandma's porch watching and listening to their beautiful songs. Thanks for a trip down memory lane!

  2. Here, the Starlings are the bullies ~ kicking out the other birds eggs and laying their own in their place for the other birds to raise.
    Your little wrens are adorable! I love feeding birds and having them nest near our home and garden. I recently put a house on our chicken coop which is at the side of the spring garden. The residents happily gobble up nasty bugs throughout the day and make working in the garden a pleasant experience!
    Your garden (in your header) looks lovely and well tended. A great place to enjoy the birds and the plants!

    1. Starlings are nasty bullies. Just visited your blog, love the four flat condo. Signed up to follow your blog, sorry it took so long.