Tuesday, April 30, 2013

new wren time

Spring brings new life! And there are nascent wrens in the valley, flying about, learning how to be wrens.

Once known as "Troglodyte de Caroline" by the French in the New World, I watched the first fledged clutch move around my yard yesterday. A parent Carolina wren with at least three juveniles in tow, begging for food. 

With these ubiquitous wrens, it takes roughly four days for the male and female to build the nest, often near or on our houses. After the eggs are laid, both parents take turns incubating for 12 to 16 days, the nestling phase takes another 10 to 16 days. Once they fledge—fly away from the nest—the young ones follow mom and dad for several days learning how to be Carolina wrens: where to take a bath, roost, find food and what to be afraid of, although I'm not sure that these little dynamos are afraid of anything.

Locally, a pair of wrens may have three broods a year, which sounds exhausting, and probably is, but you would never know it because these smallish brown birds are high energy, always on the move. Always spunky. Always singing.

One researcher counted and a single herky-jerky Carolina wren sang its song 3,000 times in one day.

Ijams staff member Rex McDaniel, took the above photo of a wren that had nested next to his air conditioner window unit. 

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