Building a Birdhouse for the Carolina Wren
Carolina Wrens are shy birds but are fairly tolerant of human activity. Like House wrens they are known for choosing a wide variety of man-made objects in which to nest. Carolina wrens are not that hard to entice into breeding in your yard by building nest boxes although it isnt uncommon at all for the Carolina wren to choose some other object, like an old pail or shoe, to build a nest in instead of a carefully constructed birdhouse. To entice Carolina wrens to actually make use of the birdhouse you construct here are some reminders/tips you can follow.
- Have the birdhouse ready before breeding season. Breeding season begins as early as mid-March in some places though it mostly starts early April.
- Put the birdhouse in places near forests, clear cuts, or if in your yard near trees with thick underbrush.
- Do not place the birdhouse in an area where insecticides are regularly and heavily used. The insecticides will guarantee a short supply of food for the Carolina wrens and can even poison the birds.
- Place the birdhouses about 5 to 10 feet above the ground.
- Make sure the birdhouse entrance is facing away from the direction of prevailing winds. This is important since Carolina wrens are sensitive to cold.
- Build more than one birdhouse if your yard is large so that the Carolina wrens will have the option to choose which one they like best. Just make sure there is enough space between where you place the houses so that in case another pair of birds decides to reside in them they wont be encroaching too much on each other’s territory.
The approved dimensions for a Carolina Wren Birdhouse has typical dimensions of 7-1/2 inches high x 7-3/4 inches wide x 7-1/2 inches deep with an entrance hole larger than the House wren birdhouses suggested entrance hole. Since the entrance hole for a House Wren Birdhouse is usually 1-1/8 inches in diameter an entrance hole of 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter will suffice. Build ordinary Carolina wren birdhouses of this size using lumber pieces cut according to the given dimensions. Drill several small holes along the bottom panel to serve as drains.
Since Carolina wrens are tolerant of swaying birdhouses you can hang the birdhouse using a wire on a tree branch or you can also fix it more securely. If you opt to build more than one birdhouse it would be a good idea to make one swaying birdhouse and one fixed birdhouse.