This year we have a surplus of Wren families. Both types of Wren, Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) and House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), decided to raise their families in the garden. House Wren is the one who always raise their young here while the Carolina Wren stays with us during the winter then goes back to the wooded areas in late spring. But this year the Carolina Wren stayed and produced two broods with us so far.
The Carolina Wren started their first brood in early May and the chicks fledged some time in early June. They built a nest right in a slot under our patio roof. We let them; they are small enough not to make a mess.
Then to my surprise, they started the second brood right in the same nest. This time four chicks. They are still small and mom and dad are doing a daily feeding relay.
At the same time two pairs of House Wren settled on each end of the property. They built their nests with sticks and lined it with softer materials. Many times they built the nest all the way up to the opening of the box so I can’t get a glimpse of the chicks tucked in deep. I can only tell by the sound of the chicks and the parents flying in and out with food.
In the middle of these two House Wren families raising their young, one of the Wrens started to build a nest in a new box. I don’t know if it’s from one of the pairs or a newcomer.
It’s early in the season still, we may have a Wren symphony by August.
Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus) come to stay in our garden every winter. They mostly stay in one of the woodpiles and come to the feeders or search the woodpiles on the patio and all the nooks and crannies of the patio roof for food. They have no fear of us and allowed us to get close enough. Our relationship is a symbiotic one: we provide food and shelter and they get rid of the insects for us. By mid-spring, when food is abundant, they go back into the nearby forest area and the House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) will take over the territory.
A couple of nights ago I found a Carolina Wren in a strange pose at one corner of the patio where the beam connected to the upright post. Looking from afar, I thought it was a dry leave stuck there but I realized that it was a small bird when I looked closer. An injured bird, maybe? The feathers on the back were flattened out. The tail was also flattened to the wooden beam. The head buried between the body and the wood beam. When I got up on a chair and looked closely, the bird turned around, looked at me and then flew off into the night garden. We thought it was very strange. We assumed that it had possibly just escaped from a predator.
But it came back almost every night, at the exact spot, and did the same flattened out with the back feathers act. It was gone in the morning. It’s a strange behavior that we haven’t seen before but maybe this is how the Carolina Wrens roost at night.
It’s up there tonight again. The display with the feathers makes it look injured although it isn’t. Perhaps that’s how they flatten themselves against tree trunks at night trying to look like just another chunk of tree bark.