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May 7, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: House Wren

The House Wren is a friendly little brown bird with a loud, cheerful song that can be found in backyards, city parks and at the forest edge. They are migratory and go south of the frost line in the winter but can be found across North America in the summer. Any day now I expect to hear the male wren singing to attract the attention of a female.

This is the female wren. Last summer I was watching her bring yummy insect meals to the babies in the nest box. I walked closer to get a better shot and she started scolding me from a nearby branch. The scolding didn’t stop until I moved away.

Male and female House Wrens look alike. I was able to tell this nesting pair apart because of their sound. The males sing; the females don’t sing but they scold when they are annoyed.

House Wren

I have several nest boxes in my yard that are suitable in size for wrens but the last two years they chose to nest in this decorative box.

Last year I hung the box out front in a tree from a wire hook. It was more for looks than practical housing but they moved in anyway. Wrens will build nests in flower baskets, old shoes or even a box in the garage.

I put the box out in the tree last weekend. It’s all cleaned and ready for them. Now all they have to do is show up.

I link up my bird photos on Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.


Leave a Comment
  1. samstillreading / May 7 2011 6:00 am

    So cute! I love little birds.


    • Leslie / May 7 2011 9:16 am

      Me too. These are tiny but so energetic.


  2. Book Dilettante / May 7 2011 6:04 am

    I have a little wren house in my backyard and hope they use it this year!


    • Leslie / May 7 2011 9:15 am

      It took the wrens a few years to find the house in my yard but eventually they show up.


  3. Beth F / May 7 2011 7:52 am

    I have wrens on my bird feeder — I don’t pay enough attention to tell male from females. Got a beautiful grosbeak on the feeder yesterday; it was the first of the season.


    • Leslie / May 7 2011 9:14 am

      Males and females look alike. The only reason I knew was the singing. I have only had a grosbeak at the feeder one time and he was beautiful!
      A few hours after I posted this two Grosbeaks showed up at the feeder. Amazing. They flew into the apple tree before I could grab the camera. If I get pics I’ll post them next week.


  4. laurelrainsnow / May 7 2011 9:47 am

    Even though these birds seem “plain,” you’ve captured something extraordinary with the green backdrop.

    I love birdhouses and have one on my patio. I should check for signs of “nesting.”

    Thanks for visiting my blog.


    • Leslie / May 7 2011 11:06 am

      The green does compliment her brown coloring. She really was a sweet little bird even though I think she wanted to bite my head off when I went near her ‘house’.


  5. Helen Murdoch / May 7 2011 10:17 am

    Wonderful photos! What camera and lens do you use?


    • Leslie / May 7 2011 11:04 am

      The camera is a Canon Rebel XSi and the lens is a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS

      I absolutely love this lens. It’s a lightweight zoom lens that I can easily carry around and it didn’t cost a fortune. The downside is it’s not as fast as a pro lens and doesn’t do as well in low light.


  6. Rebecca Rasmussen / May 7 2011 10:36 am

    Oh Leslie — these are stunning photographs. Truly stunning 🙂 I hope you’re having a happy morning!


  7. Alyce / May 7 2011 10:55 am

    I was going to say the same thing as Rebecca – your bird photos are always stunning. They are the quality I would expect to find in a glossy coffee table book.


  8. Lee / Wild Mountain / May 7 2011 11:40 am

    I love that they nested in your decorative birdhouse. We have had birds build nests in the wreath on the front door. As usual, fantastic photos!


  9. Sherrie / May 7 2011 12:42 pm

    They are beautiful birds. Love your new house for them. Have a great day!

    Just Books


  10. Amy / May 7 2011 1:11 pm

    The little wrens are so sweet! I love the bird house at the end of your post, it’s so pretty & reminds me of a couple my grandmother and mom hung in the back yards.

    How interesting that the female scolded you for coming too close! It’s fascinating the way different creatures do things.
    Thanks for these beautiful photos.


  11. Nikki-ann / May 7 2011 1:50 pm

    Wonderful shots 🙂


  12. Faith / May 7 2011 1:59 pm

    I love birds! Nice photos!

    Here’s Mine


  13. Robyn / May 7 2011 2:03 pm

    Great pictures. You must have a nice camera with a good telephoto lens? I always have trouble taking pictures of birds. There are cedar waxwings that will show up in the tree outside my office, and I always want to take pictures, but can’t zoom in enough.


    • Leslie / May 8 2011 2:01 am

      Waxwings are difficult for me to photograph too. I see them in my cedar tree but they stay too high up to get a good shot. They are such beautiful birds, someday I’ll get a clear shot.


  14. Suko / May 7 2011 2:07 pm

    These photos are so lovely! So the males sing and are more “carefree” than the females, who “scold”–sounds familiar! Enjoy your weekend.


  15. Bev@My Reader's Block / May 7 2011 2:30 pm

    I know I keep on saying it, but I love your bird photos! You really capture the spirit of the birds in them.

    Here’s my snapshot:


  16. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / May 7 2011 3:40 pm

    I love seeing all these different bird shots. Nice job


  17. Angie @ By Book or By Crook / May 7 2011 7:24 pm

    These two look like they have so much to say!


  18. Leslie / May 8 2011 2:09 am

    Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments. I like sharing my bird photos and I’m glad you are enjoying them.


  19. Mary / May 8 2011 9:11 am

    I love these! I can almost hear the first bird singing 🙂


  20. BermudaOnion / May 8 2011 7:28 pm

    I love your bird pictures and the fact that you always teach me something.


  21. Karis (YA Litwit) / May 23 2011 4:58 pm

    I have a total love/hate relationship with these guys. This year, I had a pair of Titmice with 7 eggs in my Bluebird box, and a House Wren broke all the eggs and dismantled the nest. Grrr. He is happy with his mate in a piece of extra gutter spout on my patio now, and I have Eastern Bluebirds in the box, so all is well (except for the unfortunate Titmice)…


    • Leslie / May 24 2011 11:29 am

      House Wrens can be rather evil. Two years ago I had a pair build a nest, lay eggs and then another wren came along and dismantled the nest. Then one of them rebuilt the nest and eventually there were three fledgling wrens. So yeah, I understand the love/hate relationship people have with them, especially when they attack the bluebird boxes. I have a wren in my yard now… he’s been putting sticks in all the boxes and singing non-stop.


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