It’s been over a month now since discovering a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) taking refuge in a barn swallow nest on our patio.
The wren has been coming back night after night sleeping like a teenager for around 12 hours. With the day’s waning light it flies into the nest, fluffs itself up to protect itself from the cold and sleeps so hard that no sound disturbs it. As soon as the dawn breaks it flies out of the nest onto a nearby plum tree where it gradually awakens itself for the new day.
Based on song behavior we now know it’s a male wren because only male’s sing with repeated whistled notes. Once it’s fully awake it often sings it’s whistled notes several times before taking off. Their song sounds like a repeated teakettle, teakettle, teakettle. Once you hear it you’ll never forget it. From the patio door the sound carries throughout the house of just this one wren. Sometimes he does a variation of his song.
I put out a small suet birdfeeder in the plum tree where he eats some in the mornings, but varieties of sparrows often fight him off during the day.
Yes – there has been two occasions where he’s popped up out of the nest. Naturally my camera is not in hand. Its bold white line eyebrow is clearly evident, along with its white chin.
We have no idea how long this little wren will hang around. I always check the nest every night to see if I see its little tail sticking out along the edge. If it’s still here when the barn swallows come back to reclaim their home then that will be interesting to witness.
The first observation post can be found here: https://forgottenwinds.com/2016/12/07/sleeping-carolina-wren/
Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography
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