Carolina wrens – another backyard favorite

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It was a cold, snowy weekend here in Lexington, which brought lots of different birds (eighteen species) to our feeders. I enjoyed watching all of them, but must admit I have my favorites, including our pair of Carolina wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus). These small birds have a rusty-colored back, prominent eye stripe, long curved beak and up-turned tail. They are permanent residents and provide much enjoyment all year round.

Carolina wren on ground

During the winter they often visit the suet feeder, the nut feeder and come to the window feeder for seeds where we can observe them at close range.

Close-up view of small Carolina wren In contrast to their small size, the males have a very loud song. They sing frequently, and add a bit of cheer to my day whenever I hear them.

These tiny birds are both curious and brave, even flying into our garage to check things out. Harry sees them as impudent. I see them as feisty and sassy, and find them endearing.

16 thoughts on “Carolina wrens – another backyard favorite”

  1. Betty,
    I, too, have had a pair of Carolina Wrens, in addition to many other birds this past cold weekend at my feeders. They LOVE the suet cakes I made, especially the Wrens, Downy Woodpecker, and even some other small birds who aren’t afraid of going through the cage! However, my Downy Woodpecker doesn’t go in the cage, but eats upside down from the bottom!
    Thanks again for the recipe!

  2. I love wrens, too, and sometimes see them up close and personal, with only a glass door between us, actively upturning leaves and litter on the ground beneath the shrubs in hopes of a tasty bite.
    I agree about their song. Once in Olympic National Park Washington, a bird call was pointed out to us as the longest of bird songs. It began as the familiar call of our wrens but continued with many more beautiful notes. We were told it was the west coast wren!

    1. They are fun to watch, aren’t they, Carolyn? Your experience with the west coast wren reminds me of the call of the winter wren that Harry and I sometimes hear when we are out hiking. It, too, is a very long song and quite melodious.

    1. Thanks, Sara. I like getting close-ups whenever I can. They allow me to notice details that I would otherwise miss.

  3. One of my favorites also. We had one build a nest in a sconce on our screened porch last season, The babies hatched and we helped the little ones get out of the porch while mom and dad watched close by ; )

  4. I am also blessed with the company of many Carolina Wrens and your posting made me curious as to how they differ from Bewick’s Wrens which Mother often longingly spoke of as her beloved companions on the OK porch of her childhood. The link concerning the Carolina Wren’s song introduced me to the neat reference site – THANKS! – which informed me that the Carolina Wren is “plumper, shorter-tailed, more reddish-brown and less vocally diverse than the Bewick’s Wren” and provided pictures of both although not as close up and delightfully personal as yours. Anyway, I found myself led to belatedly try and capture a bit of Mother’s youth:

    Bewick’s Wren vocals
    Filled honeysuckle screening
    Her Shawnee childhood.

    1. Thanks for your reference to the Bewick’s wren, Beth, which gave me the incentive to find out more about it. I’ve never seen or heard it but would like to. Thanks, too, for sharing the haiku that captures the essence of your mother’s memories.

    1. Thanks, Carter. The birds also remind me of spring, and that was especially true earlier this week when I saw and heard a Carolina wren singing.

  5. Several years ago in in Cardinal Cove, Boone County, there was a vacant home within my Neighborhood Watch. While on my daily walk with my dog, I noted the absence of a door on the mailbox. One day I stopped to peek in to see if there was any accumulating junk or other mail and was surprised to see a Carolina wren nest. So each day thereafter, I walked close and said “Hi, Mrs. Wren!” as I passed. The day came when she popped out at my close greeting and startled me. I continued my greetings and she continued sitting and then feeding the offspring which I later saw leave the nest! Wonderful experience as I am sure you understand.

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