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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Carolina wrens bear resemblance to teenagers

  • It seems we have had a pair of young Carolina wrens living amongst us this summer.
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  • It seems we have had a pair of young Carolina wrens living amongst us this summer. I almost feel like calling them teenagers because they have been making some very silly and unwise family choices.
    First, they made a nest in a birdfeeder we have on the deck railing. As soon as I saw what they had done, I was tempted to take it out. I had premonitions of the outcome, but the nest was so pretty and they had worked so hard on it – I did not have the heart to tear it out. And, who am I to get involved with the life and death roles of nature.
    It is a hopper-type feeder and they had careful slid into the feeder, built their beautiful nest inside with small twigs, red cedar leaves, hair, moss and lichens – a work of art. The entrance was almost like a Hobbit hole as it came to a funnel right to the slit at the bottom of the hopper opening.
    I knew when the eggs hatched as I saw them with moths, flies, and other bugs pinched between their small bills as they rushed in and out of their moss covered doorway. All the while, I said secret prayers the babies would fledge before “they” found them. No such luck.
    I had been counting the days and I was sure the babies had just one or two more to go before they would be ready to fledge. As I had every morning, the first thing I did when I got up, I went to the back door and checked the bird feeder – I stood in disbelief. The birdfeeder roof had been ripped off and the beautiful nest had been shredded; moss, lichens, cedar, and hair were strewn-about everywhere. The wrens were nowhere to be seen. As always, the masked robbers had come in the night and stolen the babies for dinner! That was in July.
    Then in mid-August, I was walking up to the front door. I did a double-take as I looked again to the right of the door where a large grapevine wreath hangs. A large lop-sided wren nest was built on the wreath. I smiled to myself. Ah, youth! They do not give up easily! The nest is so large I was afraid it was going to fall off of the wreath. I have been trying to figure out ways to bolster it up, but to no avail. I did move all of the furniture out of the way, so the only way a night-time creature could reach the nest was if it was over four feet tall.
    Four eggs hatched and four bright yellow mouths reach for the sky every time I give a little click sound. Their cheep-cheep-cheeps are very faint, perhaps a safety measure for birds that often nest near people.
    Page 2 of 2 - Most bird resources will tell you that Carolina wrens will have 2 – 3 broods, April – July. Here we are in September with four babies in a wreath. Ah, youth…
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