The Carolina Wren Mating Habits

Carolina wrens are monogamous birds. Though not much is known about their mating habits it is reported that most Carolina wrens are monogamous not just for one breeding season but actually pair for life, or at least for many years. Carolina wrens bond not only during the start of breeding season but anytime of the year. Once bonded the pair stays together and engages in various activities such as foraging for food and breeding together. It is only after one of the birds disappears (for whatever reason) or dies that the partner left behind goes ahead and tries to find another mate.

Carolina wrens like to preen anywhere but they especially like to preen on tree branches. They keep themselves clean by using their bills and wings to preen. They have also been observed to dust-bathe. To start of the mating process the male Carolina wrens put on an elaborate show to attract a female bird. It preens and hops around showing off its feathers and tail. As soon as a female wren comes close enough the male wren starts courting the female bird by circling around the bird and continuing on hopping in a stiff pattern. While doing this it puffs out its feathers and fans its tail as it tries to impress the female Carolina wren. Although not that common a sight, it has been reported that some male wrens even fetch and bring female wrens an offering of food while courting the female bird. Once the female bird is attracted to the male wren, they mate and is then bonded for life.

Pairs that have been bonded before the breeding season do not need to go through the entire courtship process done during nest building. They, however, go through the process of choosing a suitable nesting site. The main difference between un-mated birds is that the male bird does not need to attract the female bird just to be able to get a mate but does need to be able to present a suitable nesting site to its female mate so that the female Carolina wren can choose their nesting site.

After the eggs are laid the male Carolina wren remains attentive to its mate and helps it by bringing food for the incubating female. After the eggs are hatched both birds help in the care of the young birds.

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