Sunday, May 8, 2011

House Wrens Singing and Nest Building

House wrens returned yesterday, arriving from their winter quarters in the south.  They didn't even stop to take a breather from flying a thousand miles, but instantly began gathering twigs to construct their nest, and singing their pleasant song constantly.
Photographing wrens is difficult as they are constantly moving.  I took these pictures this morning at sunrise, before the shadows hid their quick movements.

This photo shows the typical wren pose.  Short wings, barred tail sticking up, and a blur of action as it moves through the wood pile under the white cedar.

Both the male and female build the nest.  After the nest is finished and the female is sitting on eggs, the male will fill every other cavity nearby with twigs.  He does this to keep other wrens from settling down nearby, and competing for the food supply he and his mate will need to feed their brood of up to ten babies in ten days.
Here he is singing. The whole body sort of quivers as he sings, making the feathers look blurry. You can see the throat is a bit distended, as he puffs air into it.

Spring is always in full swing by the time wrens arrive, and I always look forward to seeing and hearing them.

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