The Wren House


A small house with a pointed roof and a wren-sized front door sits on a tree near the entrance to the woods at Jester Park. When I was wandering in the fog on the last Saturday morning in May, I saw a pair of house wrens at the house. The wren house is a short distance from where the catbird sangΒ that Saturday morning and where I saw a house wren singing in April.

The female wren flew in and out of the house while the male wren sang and watched from a tree branch. The female wren didn’t enter or leave the house unless her mate was singing. When the female wren was in the house, the male wren flew off for a while. He sang on his return until his mate flew out of the house.

The male wren constantly watched the surroundings and chased off any bird that ventured close to the house.

I went back to watch them again on Monday and Wednesday at sunrise. I didn’t see the female wren carrying food when she flew into the house. I think she was keeping their eggs warm in between flights out to find food for herself.

May 27, 2017

A house wren in a bush near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 27, 2017.

A female house wren on the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 27, 2017.

A male house wren watching from a branch near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 27, 2017.

May 29, 2017

A male house wren singing from a tree branch near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 29, 2017.

A pair of house wrens at the wren house in Jester Park, Iowa, May 29, 2017.

May 31, 2017

A female house wren flying to the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 31, 2017.

A male house wren watching from a tree branch near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 31, 2017.

A male house wren watching from a tree branch near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 31, 2017.

A house wren singing from a tree branch near the wren house at Jester Park, Iowa, May 31, 2017. Other birds call and sing in the background.

Take care and thanks for reading.



About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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15 Responses to The Wren House

  1. zirah1 says:

    How neat about the house. It will be fun for you to track the developments and hopefully see some fledglings at some point. And it’s so interesting that the wrens in your area have downward tails, whereas the Carolina Wrens here have “perky” tails that jut up to around a 70 degree angle.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! It would be fun to see the little ones. πŸ™‚ I will be keeping an eye on the house. I can’t camp out there all the time, though, so I might miss them. It was interesting to watch their activities for those couple of days. The male, at least, is a tiny bird with a big presence! πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen a Carolina wren. I just checked and it looks like the northern edge of their range is south of here.

      I saw another bird nest while I was watching the house wrens. That is going to be the subject of next week’s post. πŸ™‚

      • zirah1 says:

        Oh, great! It sounds like the birds are doing their best to provide you w/ “fodder” for your posts. πŸ™‚

        • Sarah says:

          Now that the leaves are all out on the trees and bushes, I mostly hear the birds rather than see them. Every once in a while, I am lucky enough to spot one in the open. πŸ™‚ I have seen four new-to-me birds this spring. I only have photos of one of those. Next week’s bird family is a familiar bird, but I haven’t seen their young before and it is fun and interesting to watch the baby birds. I hope they make it. I will be keeping an eye on them this week and put the photos in a post for next Sunday. πŸ™‚ I have been taking flower photos as well for later.

          • zirah1 says:

            I know what you mean about the leaves. Before everything got so lush and leafy in the yard I had a clear shot from my bedroom window to the two feeders I have handing in a tree and the area below where I would see other birds, rabbits and a chipmunk come and munch on what the squirrels and birds would knock out of the feeders. Now I can’t really see any of what’s going on…in the tree or below. 😦

            • Sarah says:

              The foliage helps keep the birds hidden from predators, but it also keeps those of us who admire them from watching their activities. I was out at the park this morning watching the nest and baby birds for a while and was surrounded by birdsong. It was like being in a surround sound symphony. I looked around and up into the trees and couldn’t see any of the singers. πŸ™‚ Do leaves sing?!? I think not although they sigh and whisper in the wind. πŸ™‚

        • Sarah says:

          It seems I spoke too soon about the nest and the birds. Something happened between yesterday morning and this morning. When I left yesterday, all was well. This morning, all was silent. No adult birds hovering around the nest and chirping in the bushes while looking for bugs. No baby birds peering up over the top of the nest. I don’t know what happened. They are working on the path that goes through the woods and by the tree. They haven’t put gravel on the path in front of the tree, but it is in the woods a short distance away. The path was a dirt path. I think it turned in to a river in the rains and they decided to put gravel on it and wood across sections to channel the water. Maybe there was too much activity there yesterday. Or maybe a being which didn’t have the bird’s best interest at heart saw them like I did. It was a cardinal’s nest. It was hidden in plain sight in a Hawthorne tree on the edge of the path just before the entrance to the woods. I wouldn’t have noticed it except that I saw the male cardinal come to feed the female cardinal when she was sitting on the eggs. The nest is over my head, but there aren’t leaves at that point of the tree so there is nothing other than old branches to shield the approach of the adults to the nest of the baby birds in the nest. I waited about an hour and 1/2 this morning and didn’t see any baby bird activity or adults. The young weren’t big enough to leave the nest on their own. Hopefully, the adults will find a more secluded place to put a nest and try again.

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    Very cool pics. The birds seem to have pretty rich social lives.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed the pictures. πŸ™‚ Some birds are more social than other ones. I often see the goldfinches flying around in groups of 4 or 6. I usually see the house wrens by themselves or in pairs. There is a house wren that sings in a small tree I pass when I walk in the morning here, but I have yet to see him. This is unlike the song sparrows who like to sing from the tops of the trees or other high points. And then, there are the barn swallows who are really social birds. They like to perch in a long string on the telephone wires and fly in flocks to catch bugs over the fields. Right now, there is a barn swallow sitting on a nest up near the entrance to this apartment building. It is where they successfully had a nest last year unlike under the landing where the nest kept being taken down. Hopefully, they are high up enough to be left alone. Sometimes when I come home, there is a barn swallow perched on the railing outside of my door. I walked halfway up the stairs yesterday morning before he (or she) flew away. πŸ™‚

  3. Jet Eliot says:

    Great fun to watch the house wrens in their spring activities, Sarah. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you had fun watching the house wrens. πŸ™‚ I went by to check on them this morning. They are feeding their young now. They were so intent on gather bugs that one of them (I think the male) flew down to the grass right near my feet to search. Either he is used to me or he mistook me for a tree. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Diane πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you liked the photos. πŸ™‚ I had a lot of fun watching the house wrens at the end of May. I didn’t know whose house it was when I first saw it in April. The male wren gave me stern looks and the female was cautious. I didn’t see the young leave the house. I did see a young wren a month ago a short distance from the house. There was at least one other family of wrens raising their young in a tree near the path.

  4. birdlady612 says:

    Our wrens scold us if we get too close to their house when there are babies in there. I love wrens.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! The wrens were very active and fun to watch. πŸ™‚ I am not so sure what they thought of me, though. I was doing my best to look like a tree, but I don’t think they were fooled one bit! I kept getting stern looks from the male wren. πŸ™‚

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