House Wren

Hey guys, welcome back. Today’s little bird is the very common, very loud house wren. For those of you familiar with wrens, you know that these guys have quite the set of lungs on them. They sing not only to attract mates but to defend their territory as well. They’re often (as will most wrens) respond to recording of wrens singing.

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House wren in the backyard, Concord, Ohio

I typically get house wrens in my backyard as there is a little bit of woods back there, but also when branches fall or I prune trees, I place all those sticks in a pile just inside the woods. These brush piles over time create a nice habitat for birds that like thick understory, such as the house wren. It also attracts many insects, the favorite food of these little guys. They nest in cavities and nest boxes, and have actually been known to harass and sometimes even kill larger birds to procure a favorite nesting spot!

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House wren at a nest box, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

Visually, the house wren is a small, rotund brown bird with a fairly long, slightly decurved bill. Oh, remember all those insects the brush piles attract? Well they can sometimes make their way into the nests. Particularly mites and other nest parasites. House wrens have been known to include spider eggs in their nests. When these spider eggs hatch, they eat all the nest parasites! A good example of symbiosis in action! One of the birds that house wrens can bully out of their nests is the eastern bluebird, which just happens to be the subject of our next installment! So come back and learn a little about them! See you next time!

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