Family: Troglodytidae (Wrens)
The Carolina Wren
measures 5 1/2" with a wingspan of 7 1/2". It's
slightly arched bill is nearly as long as the oblong
head. The color of the upper parts is brownish-red, a
yellowish-white streak over the eye which extends down
the neck and edged above with dark brown. Coverts and
tail barred with blackish-brown and secondary and middle
coverts tipped with white. Throat is greyish-white,
underparts reddish-buff. Under tail coverts white and
barred with a blackish-brown color. Legs are flesh color.
The tail feather is long and curves downwards. The female
is lighter above, tinged with grey beneath.
The flight of the Carolina Wren are short flappings of
the wings and accompanied by violent jerks of the tail
and body. In this manner the Carolina Wren moves from log
to log, fence-rail to fence-rail, up and down among low
branches of bushes and piles of wood. It's tail is almost
constantly erect and before it starts to make the flight
or leap, it uses a quick motion, which brings its body
almost into contact with the object on which it stands,
and then springs from its legs. All this is accompanied
with a strong chirr-up, uttered as if the bird were in an
angry mood, and repeated at short intervals. The
quickness of the motions of this active little bird is
fully equal to that of the mouse. Like the mouse, it
appears and if out of sight in a moment, peeps into a
crevice, passes rapidly through it, and shews itself at a
different place the next instant.
It sometimes ascends to the higher branches of large
trees by climbing along a grape-vine, searching
diligently amongst the leaves and bark, alighting
sidewise against the trunk, and moving like a true
When satiated with food, or fatigued the Carolina Wren stops,
droops its tail, and sings with great energy a short song
resembling the words come-to-me, come-to-me or chirr-up,
chirr-up, chirr-up, repeated several times in quick succession,
so loud, and yet so mellow, that it is always agreeable to listen
to them. During spring, these notes are heard from all parts of
yards, woods, swamps, creeks and rivers, as well as from barns,
stables and the piles of wood, within a few yards of the house.
Their chirr-up and come-to-me song seldom cease for more than
fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, commencing with the first
glimpse of day and continuing sometimes after sunset.
Resident of Eastern US to Texas and Eastern Mexico.
The nest of the Carolina Wren is usually placed in a hole in some
low decayed tree, stump, or in a fence-stake, sometimes even in
the stable or barn. The nesting materials are hay, grasses,
leaves, feathers, hair, or dry fibres of Spanish moss. The
feathers, hair or moss forms the lining and the coarser materials
the outer parts of the nest.
The number of eggs is from five to 6 and are oval, greyish-white,
sprinkled with reddish-brown. Incubation is performed by the
female only and lasts anywhere from 12-14 days with the first
young leaving the nest 12-14 days after hatching. Both the male
and female feed the young. The young's plumage undergoes no
change, merely becoming firmer in the colouring.
Carolina Wrens usually raise two broods in a season.
Natural Feeding Habits:
Among the many species of insects such as flies, grasshoppers,
crickets, bees, moths, beetles, spiders and leafhoppers which
they eat, several are aquatic and are procured while creeping
about the masses of drifted wood. Carolina Wrens will come to
feeding stations of suet, sunflower seed and peanuts.
Great Carolina Wren, Mocking Wren and Florida Wren.
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