Where Wrens Go When They Fledge

Wrens, in general, have quite a reputation for building nests in awkward places. We've put out a number of nesting boxes in years past only to have the little heathens nest in lawnmowers, stacked wood piles, on shelves in the shed--I'm quite certain you have stories of your own to tell about where some crazy wren has nested!

This year, a house wren decided to take up residence...in an undersized nesting box. It was really meant to be decorative, not useful. But this little wren evidently found it superior to all the other options her mate offered-- and moved in.

The location of the box may have been the key. It was placed in such a way that at least two camouflaged perching spots were within four feet of the entrance, so that a wren could hide and wait for a good opportunity to head inside. The box was hung off of a bracket on a utility pole, but the pole is part of a "wooded" area--it's not sitting in isolation in the middle of the yard. In addition, some of the plants we had put in during our first year here (this is the third "summer of occupation") have gotten established enough to contribute a good strong insect population for, shall we say, Take Out.

Nesting progressed as expected from that point. At some times, the adults were dashing in and out of the house every 3 minutes or so--dashing to the goldenrod patch, snagging another victim, and dashing back to the house. We knew the babies were getting close to getting out of there when mouths were showing through the entrance hole. [Evidence in picture at right!] Within 48 hours, they had moved out.

For a couple of days after fledging, we lost track of them. We could hear the usual shenanigans, with the adult calls to the young and their singular noises back. [Hear some of the calls


.]  They make such a racket its a marvel somebody doesn't hunt them down.  But today I found them, and some of the guidelines for the

National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Habitat Program

made even more sense.

This last picture is one of the young wrens hiding in our brush pile at the back of the property. [You can click on any of these images for larger versions.] Mom and/or dad were close at hand, and the other young fledgling was just to the right of this one, but deeper in the pile--you can see him near the bottom right corner of the image. Hope you've been enjoying some bird happenings in


backyard--if you've got a story to tell, share it!

Getting Buzzed

Getting Buzzed

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla Gardening