Monday, June 09, 2008

House guest

For the last two summers, we’ve hosted families of house wrens. My wife and daughters have a hobby of painting decorative birdhouses, which we hang on our deck. For the past couple of weeks, a male wren has been hard at work building a nest in one of the birdhouses. In the house wren world, it's the male who is responsible to find a suitable location for a nest and fill it with twigs. He then convinces a female to move into his bachelor pad and lay eggs. So far, I’ve not noticed a female, but our boy still has some time.

House wrens have a bubbling sing-songy call (you can hear a sample at the beginning of the video, below), and this guy lets it out from sunrise to sunset, proclaiming ownership of his territory – in this case, my suburban quarter-acre. He tolerates humans pretty well and we usually coexist peacefully on the deck, unless we wander too close to his birdhouse, whereupon he lets loose with a few warning chirps.

I’ll let you know how the courtship of Mr. Wren plays out.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.


Dona said...

Oh cool, we have a nesting pair just outside our screened porch. I'm guessing there are three younguns in the nest, but we won't know for sure until they fledge -- pretty soon, judging from the racket they are making.

Wanda said...

What a cute little household !!