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.



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