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Small, but Feisty

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House Wren
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House Wren

The tiny little bird with the big voice and uplifted tail is common throughout most of North America. The House Wren is cinnamon brown above, buff or gray below, and has fine bars on the wings and tail.

Their loud song and aggressive defense of their territories give the impression of a much larger bird than their 4-3/4" size. Their bubbling whistle may be heard in shrubs and bushes, farmyard and gardens, orchards, and parks. They like the undergrowth and thickets, but others like marshy areas.

These nervous little bundles of energy are quick to accept a nesting box for a home. The number of houses offered them in recent years have contributed to their increasing numbers, and a house with a small entrance will protect the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) and its family from the dangers most nesting birds encounter.

The wren's exuberant personality endears him to humans, but he is sometimes not the best neighbor to his fellow wrens and other songbirds, visiting their nests and piercing their eggs with his long, slender bill.

The male and female look alike, but only the male is the singer, and most of his singing occurs during courting times. Both sexes give a harsh, scolding call characteristic of most wrens.

The male also starts building nests in anticipation of a mate. He will stuff a house with twigs, nearly enough to exclude himself, and then sometimes build a nest in another nearby house or cavity. When the female arrives, she chooses the nest she likes best and lines it with grasses before laying 5 to 6 speckled eggs in it.

This habit of the male wren can take up several of your birdhouses, leaving fewer for other songbirds. You may wish to put up more houses. Or, by observing the wrens, you may discover where the male's territory is (about half an acre), and move some nest boxes out of that territory. If you come near a nest, the birds will scold you loudly, letting you know that a nest is close by.

The upturned tail of the wren is not indicative of a happy disposition as sometimes believed, but generally accompanies their scolding, indicating that they are disturbed.

House Wrens are friendly and will live near human habitation. They prefer suburban yards or open areas with trees and shrubs nearby. The House Wren migrates to southern states for the winter.

Carolina Wren

The House Wren's cousin, the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), is reddish brown above, buff or gray below, and has a conspicuous white line above and behind the eye. It is a little larger than the House Wren, being about 5-1/2" long. Its range includes the southeastern states, up to southern New England.

Bewick's Wren

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) is found in the southwestern states and along the west coast. It is the size of a Carolina Wren, dark and unpatterned with a longer tail, white belly and a white eyestripe.

The Carolina Wren sings a "tweedle-tweedle" song, and Bewick's Wren sings a long string of melodious notes. They will both nest in almost anything: boxes, tin cans, coat pockets, mailboxes, and fence-post holes. They will use leaves, grass, feathers, moss, hair and wool for nesting material. Bewick's Wren are often year-round residents, rather than migrators. But a harsh winter may take its toll on them, so it is a good idea to keep the bird house up all year or provide a winter roost.

Wrens feed primarily on insects, but they may be attracted to a feeder by suet, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds. They prefer living in thickets and swampy areas, as well as on rocky slopes covered with brush.

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Coveside Hanging Carolina Wren House
The Carolina Wren, like the House Wren, doesn't mind a house that sways. The entrance is larger than that of the House Wren. The extra width gives Carolina Wrens the ability to carry wide sticks into their house for nesting material. Hangs with a metal chain and opens easily for clean-out.
(7-1/2"h x 7-3/4"w x 7-1/2"d)

Coveside Hanging Wren House
Most birds prefer a stable house, but House Wrens don't mind a gentle movement. Hangs easily with the metal chain from a tree or bracket and opens easily for clean-out.
RANGE: Breeds west across Canada to Washington and south to northern Georgia, Tennessee, northern Texas and southeastern Arizona.
HABITAT: Thrives in residential areas, city parks, farmlands and woodland edges.

(7-1/2"h x 7-3/4"w x 7-1/2"d)

Coveside House Wren House
With its 1" entrance hole, this house provides great protection for house wrens. Wrens are very protective, so position the nest box in less frequented areas or you might get a scolding from a disgruntled parent.
RANGE: Breeds west across Canada to Washington and south to northern Georgia, Tennessee, northern Texas and southeastern Arizona.
HABITAT: Likes residential areas, city parks, farmlands, woodland edges.
(12-1/2"h x 6"w x 8-1/2"d)

Coveside Slate Squirrel Guard
This guard is used with the following nesting houses: Window Nest Box, Chickadee, Nuthatch, Titmouse, House Wren, all Bluebird Houses, Saw-Whet Owl and Kestrel.  This guard will protect the box from chewing squirrels.

Coveside Wood Chips Nesting Material
Nesting Material. Gallon size.

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