Birdhouses 101 - Bewicks Wren



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Bewick’s Wren

About The Bewick’s Wren

Bewick’s Wren A small member of the wren family, Bewick’s Wren is about 14 cm (5.5 in) long and weighs about 8-12 grams. It is usually brown and gray. This songbird has an average length tail which is often cocked over its back. The tail is barred black and white on the outermost parts while it is brown and black in the middle part. Tail wagging from side to side is characteristic of Bewick’s Wren. Though its most of its parts are brown, it has a white throat and its underparts are light gray. You will also notice a long white stripe over its eye. Bewick’s Wren has a thin pointed bill.
Male and female birds look alike. Immature birds are similar to the adult birds. However, their chest feathers are a bit darker.

The Bewick’s Wren Nesting Preferences

Bewick’s Wren prefers to inhabit brushy areas with thick undergrowth. It can be found in areas such as gardens, orchards, stream edges, and woods. It is a cavity nester and will build its nest in almost any cavity. Bewick’s Wren prefers to build nests in low places. It will even nest under bushes and brush heaps. They also like birdhouses.
The nest of Bewick’s Wren is mostly made up of sticks. It is lined with leaves, grass, and feathers. You can find nests in woodpecker holes, flower pots, cans, baskets and even old shoes! Male Bewick’s Wrens build the nest for the female. In fact, they build several nests for the female to choose from.

Building a Birdhouse For The Bewick’s Wren

Bewick’s WrenAs Bewick’s Wren often builds nests in birdhouses, it would be a good idea to build one in your backyard. You can also build several nest boxes as these birds are known to build several nests and choose the most suitable one. Here are the dimensions for a good Bewick’s Wren birdhouse: a 4” x 4” floor, 8” inside ceiling, and a 1 ¼” diameter entrance hole. The entrance hole should be 6” above the floor. make provisions for ventilation holes as well. Hang the birdhouse in a low tree, under an eave, or from a fence. Make sure you install predator guards so as to protect the eggs.

The Bewick’s Wren Mating Habits

Male Bewick’s Wrens sings a song which is similar to a Song Sparrow’s song during mating season. Bewick’s Wrens usually starts nesting early in February. A pair usually raises one brood per season. However, two broods are not that unusual.

The Bewick’s Wren Feeding Preferences

Bewick’s Wren is a forager. It feeds mainly on insects and spiders. It finds it food by foraging along the ground and trees.

Interesting Bewick’s Wren Facts

•The population of Bewick’s Wren has declined rapidly in the Eastern United States. Experts believe this might be due to the rapid increase in the House Wren population, which removes eggs from the nest of other species.
•Male Bewick’s Wrens learn how to sing not from their father but instead from its neighbors!
•Some male Bewick’s Wrens attack nests of fellow Bewick’s Wrens as well as birds of other species.
•Bewick’s Wren is named after English ornithologist and engraver Thomas Bewick (1753 – 1828).

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Theresa Daniels  5/27/2008)
Our Bewicks wrens enjoy living in a boot made into a birdhouse off our back porch. They are currently working on their second brood this season. They love to mock our cat if she wanders too close to the nest.


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