When Its Time To Leave The House...You Really Must Go
For most of the summer, we have been landlords for two families of House Wrens who have occupied one of the two birdhouses we have installed at the top of fence posts in our back yard. Both of these bird houses are designed for Bluebirds, but that hasn't deterred occupancy by House Wrens each year since we put them up.
House Wrens have the largest range of any songbird in the Western Hemisphere, from Canada all the way to the tip of South America. Weighing in at a whopping 0.4 ounces, they are tiny. Their color is a nondescript, rather plain brown. What sets them apart from other bird species, is their colorful, bubbly and rather lengthy song.
The male arrives in early June and selects one of the birdhouses and proceeds to sing his very tiny heart out in the hope of attracting his mate. He does the initial home staging, by bringing a few random twigs and leaves them hanging out to show that he is a real domestic catch. Of course, as soon as she moves in, she throws everything out and starts all over again.
Typically, a female House Wren lays 3-10 eggs and incubates them for 9-16 days. Both the male and female will bring insects to the hungry babies for another 15-17 days. While father Wren particpates in the feeding, he also feels it his duty to sit atop a nearby fencepost and sing loudly in his finest "Caruso" voice, performing rather lengthy operas. It is this spectacular voice and their daily busy activities that adds life to our back yard and we welcome them each year.
This year we were fortunate enough to notice the early morning feeding pattern had stopped and realized this was the day when the babies would leave the nest. By halting the feeding, the adult wrens give the babies the necessary incentive to leave.
In the video below, we captured 4 out 6 of the babies in their first attempts at flight. Hope you enjoy watching!
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