He doesn’t seem to mind robins and doves, but recently a Tufted Titmouse roused him to near-panic. His frantic scolds and fluttering feints at the Tufted Titmouse prompted me into research mode regarding the relationships between House Wrens and other birds, which led me to this interesting article posted on the Audubon Society of Omaha’s website: “The Great Wren Debate Revisited”. I had found references, before, to the House Wren’s aggressive tendency to destroy the nests of other birds (see here and here), but “The Great Wren Debate Revisited” presents a dire profile of the charismatic little bird that now spends his days singing in one corner of our yard.
Will he really destroy the other nests in our yard? Pierce the eggs and kill the nestlings?
Is our wren nest an endearing, heartwarming story in the making, or another manifestation of the strange, cruel realities of life?
Perhaps it is both. In the encyclopedia of nature, even in the small entry that makes up our yard, heartwarming and strange are often synonymous. Endearing and cruel overlap in disturbing, necessary ways. The only certainty is that I am not wise enough to judge whether the House Wren is good or bad, nor even to know if such judgments are possible.