Wrens

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Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:15 pm

Well... First I post about hummies and now it's wrens. I always get a momma wren building a nest in my barn. For years, she's chosen the exhaust fan box for her place, and I had to keep the fan off until the kids were gone and she had moved. This year, thank God, she decided to build her nest in a little storage box that's nailed to the barn wall. We keep bottles of grease for the lawn mower and trailer in there, and a small axe for busting ice in water buckets. Little Wren Mom picked up horse hair and made a little cave-like nest with the neatest tiny opening.

She's been hopping around on the rafters singing. I decided to check her nest and there are at least 2 little babies freshly hatched in there. They are SO cute. They have black fuzz and huge beaks. They will be brown with little pointy beaks when they get bigger. I'll have to keep an eye on them as they grow so I can make sure they fledge ok. The nest is good and safe, but flying lessons will put them in kitty range.

I'll try to take some pix when they get bigger. You can't really see them now because the nest is made of black horse hair and the kids have dark feather fuzz.
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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:18 pm

Awwwwww. I can't wait to see those pics. I haven't heard my lil house wren sing for several days now. I hope the crow or the hawk didn't get them.

If you have any mealworms or bugs to spare momma wren will appreciate the help with the groceries!
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Re: Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:55 pm

The littles have started to get a bit more active. They are starting to poke their beaks towards the nest opening. When I go to check on them, they close their mouths and shrink back. Mom and dad are flying around getting food. I thank them every day because they are digging up the icky grubs that make Japanese beetles.
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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:00 pm

So glad your wrens are doing so well Becky, I hope you can manage to get some pics.

I think the hawk got mine since I haven't heard either of them singing for nearly 5 days now. And I haven't seen the male making his rounds in the territory that includes my balcony either.......... :-( He was such a happy, cheerful lil fellow.
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Re: Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:55 am

Mine were almost silent while they were sitting on the eggs. Occasionally I'd see one in the yard, but I had no clue they were in the barn until the babies hatched. Then, mom and dad were coming and going so much I had to investigate. Since you're about 2 weeks behind us in season progression, maybe your wrens are sitting on eggs.

The babies here are noisy now. They are crying for their dinners and are starting to peek out of the nest. I bet they'll be testing their wings next week.

Does anybody know if wrens abandon babies that have human smells on them? I have gloves, but might not remember to put them on if a baby needs rescued.
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Re: Wrens

Post by BobCat on Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:22 am

I believe that's an old wives' tale about the human scent, although it would be better safe than sorry, so maybe a pair of gloves handy would help.
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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:50 pm

Well, the male house wren was back this morning, singing his lil lungs out at 7am! He was silent for nearly a week and was out of sight. Do they sit on the nest too until the eggs hatch?
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Re: Wrens

Post by jeanebellini on Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:22 pm

i know i heard about picking up rabbit babies and leaving a scent and then the mom will kill them (and eat them i was told as a kid) but i'm pretty sure i heard that its just a wive's tale. probably started to keep kids out of the rabbits and from getting bit eons ago:)

let just hope you don't have to pick up any of the birdies to start with!
i love how the wrens are helping so much...picking up horse hair and eating those bugs!
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Re: Wrens

Post by gbste on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:52 pm

It is a myth that birds will abandon or harm their babies if they have been touched by humans. With the exception of raptors, which have a very strong sense of smell, birds can't detect scent very well anyway. Most of them operate on the instict "If it's in the nest, feed it."
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Re: Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:19 pm

That makes sense. I'll wear gloves if I find any babies though. Even if their parents won't ignore them, they do have claws, beaks and they sometimes poop when scared. I think gloves are a good idea.

But... The nest is empty. I don't know where everybody went. It doesn't look like something got in there. It isn't destroyed. It's just abandoned. Mom and Dad were hopping around outside collecting bugs, but no kids were to be found. I wonder if I miscalculated and they were older than I thought. Maybe they moved out. I don't know... I would think if something bad happened, there would be some evidence like little feathers all over the place or a crushed nest. But no. Just empty. Shocked
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Re: Wrens

Post by Susan A on Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:25 am

It was the same way with the wren nest in my porch flower basket last year. They were there - then the were gone! The nest was intact, and I saw no predators. It was a hanging basket, so it would have been very unlikely that anything could have gotten to them. The only thing we could figure was that the whole fledge-to-flight transition must happen very quickly.

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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:38 am

I have a feeling your lil fledglings are in the bushes now, still getting the hang of flying. Mom and Dad will still feed them for several weeks yet, so keep your eyes open. Your lil ones are still around, the nest just wasn't big enough to hold them anymore. A natural way to get them to start learning to fly.

My lil male wren was on the balcony railing this morning off/on while making his rounds, singing all the while. I have no idea where his mrs built her nest in his territory (which I've read can be as big as an acre), but I hope to see them when they start flying lessons.
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Re: Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:38 pm

They must be around someplace. I heard lots of wren singing today but didn't see anybody. They must be hiding in the thick bushes next to the barn. We have lots of good safe places for young birds to learn how to fly and get food.
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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:45 am

That's probably where they are, and mom and dad are collecting bugs to feed them since they also haven't quite learned how to get enough on their own yet. I've read people mostly hear wrens but don't see them very often since they are fast fliers, small, and blend well into the background. The only reason I saw mine is he was on the balcony perched instead of a tree where he'd blend in.
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Re: Wrens

Post by bpaquet on Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:12 pm

I actually see wrens quite a bit. We have a bird bottle house on the little canning shed outside our living room window. Wrens love it. And wrens build nests in our barn all the time, although this is the first time I've seen one at eye level.
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Re: Wrens

Post by fiffur on Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:24 pm

Mine is usually at eye level when he's on the railing. I see him while sitting on my couch through the screen door. When he spots me, he sings a quick lil tune, then flies off to the tree nearby. He's never in one place for very long.
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