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Nature Journal - Carolina Wren is nesting in our strawberry basket

Carolina wrens are one of our favorite garden friends. They are always so joyful and curious, singing songs all day long, and visiting a small bowl of water on our deck daily to drink and take baths. Ever since we had set up the greenhouse, the wrens have been visiting occasionally. Now after discovering multiple half-built nests in our flower pots, we finally saw a pair of Carolina Wrens settling down in the hanging basket of strawberries. Just within days of interior finishing, the female Carolina Wren moved in and laid five eggs within three days. To protect the mom and babies from being attacked and eaten by stray cats and other animals, we keep the door closed with a slim crack and left the window open for the wren couple to fly in and out.

watercolor painting of carolina wren nesting
Watercolor by Gloria M. 5-6-2021

Did you know:

  • Unlike many birds who only mate for one season or one brood, Carolina Wrens are not just monogamous but also may mate for life. They do not pair just for breeding seasons and may remain bonded all year round.

  • A male Carolina Wren can sing up to 3,000 times in a single day with up to forty different songs. A female Carolina Wren does not sing loud songs, but she would chime in to accompany her mate's song as a duet.

  • Male Carolina wrens build multiple nests for females to pick as well as to confuse their predators. Once the site is decided, the female caroline wren adds most of the lining. Male Carolina Wren will bring food to the female when she is sitting on the eggs. After the eggs are hatched, both parents help care for the young hatchlings.

  • Carolina wrens do not migrate. They are sensitive to cold, and tough winters along with a scarcity of insects can pose serious danger to Carolina Wrens.

  • Carolina Wrens can be very creative when it comes to picking the nesting site. Besides traditional nests such as crevices and cavities, it is not uncommon that they nest in plant pots, hanging baskets, mailboxes, garages, and even shoes and hats!

Wildlife garden tips:

1. Plant insect-hosting flowers and bushes as natural food resources. Carolina Wrens are primarily carnivores and eat a wide range of insects, spiders, and even frogs, lizards, snails, and small snakes.

2. Provide a food feeder with mealworms and suet in the winter.

3. Plant small trees and shrubs. Seting up a brush pile is a great way to harbor insects and provide a fun play site for Carolina Wrens to explore, feed, sing, nest, and take shelter.

4. Do not use pesticides. Pesticides can either poison birds directly or reduce their food and habitat resources.

Helpful Links:

Carolina Wren singing capability:

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