The Carolina Wren Feeding Preferences

Caroline wrens primarily eat animals. In fact 94% of their diet is animal. Insects and spiders are their food of choice with insects like caterpillars, moths, flies, grasshoppers, crickets, bees, moths, bugs, beetles and leafhoppers being the favorites. Carolina wrens also eat aquatic insects that they get from driftwood. Aside from insects though they also sometimes eat small animals like lizards, tree frogs, snails, and even an occasional small snake.

The remaining 6% of their diet is vegetable matter with plant food including seeds from bayberry, sweet gum, poison ivy, sumac, pine, acorns, weeds seeds and some fruits.

Carolina wrens are also known to come to feeding stations on occasion and have been seen eating ground peanuts, suet, marrow of bones and even ground hamburg steak. The feeding stations they prefer to approach, however, are those that are located near brush piles, thickets, and other dense underbrush. Choice foods eaten by Carolina wrens in feeders include sunflower seeds and suet. Carolina wrens are more prone to eat at feeders and eat berries during winter when it is cold and harder to find food. For this reason, it is a good idea to put out a feeder to help these birds (and other bird species as well) survive the winter. Since the number of Carolina wrens have gone down previously due to severe winters the existence of bird feeders during winter as well as the general warming of climate could help increase their number again.

A good idea to encourage Carolina wrens to stay and feed in or near your yard is to provide roosting pockets near the bird feeders. Roosting pockets are little shelters, much like birdhouses (but smaller and not meant to be used as a nesting site), wherein the birds can roost and hide from the cold during winter. Roosting shelters can be made out of wooden boxes or grasses and other material as long as it can keep the cold out. They should be designed with really small entrance holes near the bottom of the front side so as to make the inside as warm as possible. Perches are usually put inside so that more than one bird can occupy it at the same time. The combination of roosting pockets and bird feeders during winter is one sure way to attract Carolina wrens in your area.

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