Sunday, February 08, 2009

Carolina Wren Nest

After trimming back some brush I carried the remnants over and tossed them upon a brush pile I created several years ago knowing that the local wrens would appreciate it. They love foraging among the intertwined branches for spiders and insects on top of the fact that it provides excellent cover and escape from predators.

Speaking of these tiny dynamos- I discovered two Carolina wren’s (Thryothorus ludovicianus) nests in our barn. One in a nook formed by two support 2x4’s in the loft and the other inside a large wash tub we had hanging on a wall.
Carolina wrens are known to build their nests in bizarre places- inside the pockets of hanging shirts, in old coffee pots, mailboxes, abandoned hornet’s nests and even paper sacks. A friend of mine once found one nesting inside a boot he had stored in his garage. Both nests consisted predominantly of pine straw with a few leaves, feathers, hay and tiny rootlets intertwined. The one inside the wash tub had small pieces of snakeskin and a few strands of dark course hair resembling those found on the many feral hogs that roam these woods.
Wrens are also known to build several nests, some being “dummy” nests in order to confuse predators. Could one of these nests be a “dummy”? Nests are reused by wrens each year so this spring I’ll be sure to keep an eye on both of them to find out.




Blogger new york city garden said...


7:20 AM  
Blogger Jace Stansbury said...

Thanks for reading! How did you find my blog??

5:15 PM  
Blogger Northland said...

Interesting wren nest finds and pictures.
I used your source link and found that the anecdotal information by Bent's contacts to be very informative and interesting. I looked at the entries for Northern Cardinal and got a lot of "older times" information.
I had a Cardinal that came to my feeding station from just before Thanksgiving until almost January. This was kind of unbelievable to have one here, so far from their normal range in our harsh winter weather (200+ inches of snow so far and Dec. and Jan. never above freezing). It was always harassed by a large mob of blue jays, but it would spar quite gamely. Then it didn't show up - of course we have had a very snowy and cold winter and if a predator didn't get it, it may have moved. It is only in the last decade or so that the chance for seeing a cardinal this far out of their traditional range has been possible.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Jace Stansbury said...

I love reading through the Bent's life histories. Like you said there's lots of "older times" info which, in my opinion, makes "knowing" the bird even more interesting. I wish there were more of these type of histories published. Thanks for reading!


7:00 PM  
Blogger pleintexas said...

Carolina Wrens are my favorite bird here in East Texas. I had a wren make a nest in my nail bag hanging in the shed one year. I have feeders and a birdbath outside of my bedroom window and I love waking up to their songs at sunrise.

12:23 PM  

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