[CT Birds] Carolina Wren Behavior

John Pfitzner jkat61 at hotmail.com
Thu May 9 01:18:11 EDT 2013

I was surprised when I opened the cover on the propane tank a few weeks agoWhen a caroline wren flew out and I saw the nest inside. they have been residents hereFor quite a few years and roost at night all winter in roosting pockets I have hanging fromThe ceiling of the screen porch, there are several openings I provided for them at the bottom of the pane.But I have never observed where they have nested in the past. So I bought some live mealwormsAnd put them in a dish on a wooden fence post near the tank. I saw the wrens eat the worms butBefore they would bring them to the young in the nest they would grab a couple and fly to theGround and from what I saw it appeared they were either trying to remove oat residue from theWorm food or coat the worm in dirt and grass particles. with worm in bill they would rubthe worms in fine grain powder like dirt and also the grass and small patches of moss. They were very thorough and repeated this process several times before concluding thatThey were suitable for their young to consume. they do not do this for the worms that they eat.So even though the worms are not "artificial" they are not foraged from natural sources, so maybeThe wrens want to impress upon the young that the worms may be found on the ground in dirt andGrass, to introduce the smell and taste of the environment that food can be located, or they thinkThe worms are bland and need some spice and garnish. If that was not enough interesting activityA chipmuck appeared about eight feet away from the tank on top of a upside down kayak just sittingThere and both the wrens came in and perched on a small brush pile next to the kayak and one ofThem was perched about a foot and a half away from the chipmunk and then launched itself atThe chipmunk and pretty much "belly bumped" the chipmunk.the chipmunk was unaffected by the strike andDid not waver at all, the wren repeated the attack five times before the chipmunk took off. The wren did not strike the chipmunk with it's bill, it came in like it was landing but with it'sFeet tucked in and hit the chipmunk with it's breast/belly. I love love love these birds.......They are like cat's with wings,curious,cunning, smart, resourceful,fearless. tons of character,personalityAlways interesting and entertaining year round. aggressive yet compassionate. A couple of years ago another Pair of wrens showed up and investigative as they are found the entrance to the screen porch and when theResident wrens went in a skirmish ensued and the resident wrens drove off the " invaders" this was lateSummer /early fall. the new wrens stayed around but not in the screen porch. that winter during a snowstormWith high winds and temps in the teens I saw the both pair of wrens in the screen porch right before it was Dark out, there was no altercation, chattering or aggressive behavior at all, then one by one,resident firstthey all flew up and entered the same roosting pocket, putting aside any previous territorial battles/objections tothe new wrens presence. I know that the same is true for flying squirrels, and from being a "host" to up to sixof them for seven years I have observed countless hours of flying squirrel in fighting around their feeders at night.but in the coldest of winter nights they also forgo summer conflicts and will all huddle together in one cavity. Instinct to ensure propagation of species or compassion...............maybe this query should be addressed toThe esteemed man of the cloth and resident avian delegate of god Dana Campbell.....    		 	   		  

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