Carolina Wren

by | Jan 26, 2016 | About Birds | 0 comments

The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is an often-conspicuous presence, loudly announcing its presence to all within earshot with its loud, ringing song and a variety of distinctive call notes. At other times, this bird shows its retiring side, skulking in dense shrubbery and emerging only with reluctance. When visible, this mostly brown bird is distinguished from the drabber House Wren by its bold whitish eye stripe, warm orangey underparts and rusty upperparts.

This species is found almost anywhere in our area with sufficient dense, bushy cover and suitable cavities for nest sites, including suburban yards. The Carolina Wren, along with certain other wren species, is famous for its acceptance of just about any kind of cavity for a nest site, including not only more orthodox locations like old woodpecker holes and birdhouses, but such sites as mailboxes, tin cans, the pockets of clothing hanging outside, the covers of propane tanks, glove compartments of abandoned cars, etc. It also often visits bird feeders, departing from its usual mostly insectivorous wild diet by taking suet, seed, or peanut butter.

Although it is sensitive to cold snowy winters, the Carolina Wren has expanded its range significantly to the north in the past four or five decades. This expansion at its northern limit often takes a pattern of temporary advance and retreat depending on how bad the latest few winters have been, but with our increasingly warm winters, the oscillating range limit is well to our north now, and this adaptable year-round resident seems now to be here to stay.

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