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July 1, 2013 / Rae Spencer

The House Wren

As the Blue Jay fledglings grow more and more independent, the House Wren spends a lot of time scolding them.

Wren June 19

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.

Wren June 19

Will he really destroy the other nests in our yard? Pierce the eggs and kill the nestlings?

Wren June 22

Is our wren nest an endearing, heartwarming story in the making, or another manifestation of the strange, cruel realities of life?

Wren June 22

Wren June 19

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.

3 Comments

  1. jeanryan1 / Jul 1 2013 1:19 PM

    I just wrote a short story on orphaned baby songbirds and the volunteers who help save them. These lovely photos made me smile.

  2. Random Acts of Writing / Jul 3 2013 9:44 AM

    Sweet photos!

  3. bardessdmdenton / Jul 11 2013 3:10 PM

    Very interesting, Rae. The wrens are without a doubt very aggressive birds, but it hard to think of them so destructive to other nesting songbirds. Lovely photographs!

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