About The Carolina Wren

The Carolina wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus, is mostly brown with a light yellowish-beige belly. It has large white stripe over each eye like an over-extended eyebrow and has a white throat. Its wings and tail are barred with black and it has thin white bars on its wings. Its legs are pink. Carolina wrens have long tails which they hold upright frequently especially when perched. The adult wren’s average length is 5 to 6 inches and it stands at approximately 4 inches in height. Carolina wrens of different sexes look similar with the males only slightly larger in size.

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The Carolina Wren Nesting Preferences

Carolina wrens are not picky about where they nest. Although they usually build nests on shrubs and vines they are also known to nest on tree stumps, brush piles, evergreen branches, boxes, mail boxes, tin cans, on beams, crevices, bird houses, window sills, and hanging plants. Male Carolina wrens also sometimes make several nests even though only one is used in the same area. It is said that they do this to confuse predators as to where the eggs really are. Carolina wren nests are made of sticks, grass, leaves, moss, pine needles, bark strips, feathers, string, and other bits of trash, and are lined with much finer grasses and hair. The nests, which are dome-shaped, look bulky. The entrance to the nest can be found on its side.

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Building a Birdhouse For The Carolina Wren

Carolina wrens nest on both birdhouses and platforms. The recommended dimensions for a birdhouse are: 4” x 4” (floor), 8” (ceiling height), 1½ “ (entrance hole diameter), 6” (distance from floor to hole top). Ventilation holes should be placed on the floor and under the roof. Use hinged roof for easier access inside the birdhouse.

Since Carolina wrens usually build several nests it is a good idea to make several birdhouses mounted in different places and of varying height. You can also make use of several platforms also of varying floor dimensions and mounting height.

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The Carolina Wren Mating Habits

Carolina wrens pair for life. They bond at any time of the year and stay on their territory the whole year round where they forage for food, breed, and simply live together until one of them dies. It is only when one of the pair dies that the remaining bird finds another partner.

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The Carolina Wren Feeding Preferences

Carolina wrens get their food mostly by foraging on the ground or by creeping on tree branches where they search the crevices for food. The Carolina wren’s diet is made up mostly of insects. Carolina wrens, however, also eat seeds and berries although rather infrequently. It has been observed the wrens come freely to feeding stations placed near thickets and brush where they also eat everything from suet, ground peanuts, bone marrow, and even ground hamburg steak. Occasionally Carolina wrens have reportedly eaten lizards and small frogs.

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Interesting Carolina Wren Facts

The Carolina wren is sensitive to cold weather. Since they do not migrate and stay in one territory the northern populations of Carolina wrens decrease markedly after severe winters. However since the winter temperatures over the last century has been increasing, the Carolina wrens have expanded their range northward since the mid-1900s.

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