About The Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is fairly large wren commonly found in the eastern half of the United States, the extreme south of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. The Carolina wren is the second largest species of wren after the Cactus wren and is about 14 cm long. It has an average weight of 20g when fully grown. Carolina wrens are a pretty shy species and are more often heard singing before being actually spotted. It doesn’t help either that they prefer to stay in places that have dense underbrush. Upon seeing a Carolina wren though it is easily distinguishable due to its reddish-brown upper parts, vivid orange-buff under parts, faintly barred flanks, a very prominent purely white eyebrow and a whitish throat. Newly hatched Carolina wrens have a slate-colored down. Juvenile birds develop plumage similar to adults except that it is a bit paler in color and has a softer texture. Their wing coverts are also tipped with white, eyebrows are a duller white, under parts are whiter and they have markings that look like bars or look a bit mottled on their flanks and the side of the head. Before acquiring the full adult plumage Carolina wrens get a partial post-juvenal plumage wherein it looks more like the adult plumage except for the wing part, which has white tips on the white coverts.

The Carolina wren is a very energetic bird and almost doesnt stop from doing various activities. Their movements are fast and sudden and constantly look like it is floundering while jerking its upturned tail as if excited. It also likes to chatter constantly, interspersing the endless chatter with sudden bouts of singing. This is the reason why this excitable but shy bird is often heard before being seen. Carolina wrens are curious birds and like to investigate. Bird watchers would do well to simply sit still and wait for the bird to approach instead of going after it to get a good look.

Carolina wrens lay four to six eggs in each clutch. The eggs are mostly ovoid although there are reports of round eggs. They are mostly pure white as well though some are pinkish or creamy in color. The eggs are heavily spotted with large spots though some have lighter fine spots. Incubation lasts for 12 to 14 days with the female doing all the incubation. Both parents feed the young birds.

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