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October 15th, 2018

House Wrens

Basic Description

The house wren is a small brownish songbird and a member of the wren family of Troglodytidae. Despite its lack of bright colors, you'll notice them bouncing around in your yard with a cheerful, inquisitive nature. Its short tail is usually pointed up in the air, pausing regularly to sing cute snappy songs. Wrens add charm and enthusiasm to residential areas all across America, as various forms of wren are found all over the American Continent.

"The House Wren was named long ago for its tendency to nest around residential homes or in nest boxes."


Both the male and female wren exhibit their singing and calling abilities. The sounds they make will vary according to their needs and reactive behavior. Males have a unique sound pattern during mating season and females sing mainly in answer to the males shortly after meeting up. The female will sing with high-pitched squeals that are not like any wren sounds that the male will make.

Arguably, wrens are primarily motivated to sing because of their mating responsibilities, especially the male. However, despite the wide range of melodies that the male has, there are very few variations between their songs, even despite some other unique variations that occur from the female reactions. Albeit, there are approximately 80 species of true wrens in about 20 genera, but there are distinct characteristics that blend them together.

Wrens don't usually sing after mating season, but they will often make a variety of other harsh sounds in response to predators and other animals that pose a threat.

Wren House Features

Even though wrens are not picky about their choice of dwelling places, there are a few things you should consider, and that is the type of wood and size dimensions. When choosing a wrenhouse to put in your yard, choose one that is constructed with cedar, since cedar breathes well, is lightweight, and resists insects. The size dimensions of the entrance should be no bigger than about 1 1/8" in diameter. If the entrance is larger, then the structure should not have a perch so that it will not attract undesirable birds and predators. Wrens don't prefer perches, so landing ledges or slots may work better.

Wrenhouse Shapes & Sizes

Wrenhouses are sometimes built as a side-mounted birdhouse, and come in sizes and shapes that vary slightly from one to another. However,hanging wren houses usually feature a traditional shape which makes them stand out more as a recognizable birdhouse style. You've probably noticed them before hanging in someone's front porch or backyard. It's usually a plain square or diamond shape structure with an overall small and conservative shape. The front wall is often painted with cute and colorful graphics using bright background colors. The roof is a right-angle shape with a roof ridge that points up, and eye-hooks that enable it to hang from a rope or chain as the preferred way of placement.

It's difficult to entice a mother bird to build her nest inside of a hanging structure. Birds have the ability to sense safety and effectiveness of any structure, and if their instincts tell them something isn't right, they'll move on. However, there are a few species that have no problem with a birdhouse that is suspended in air, and one species of bird in particular is a house wren. In fact, these types of birds will sometimes nest in very unassuming places, for example, empty bottles, old radiators, milk cartons, and yes,. a hanging wrenhouse.

How and where to hang a wrenhouse..

There are several things to consider when choosing where to hang a wrenhouse and how to secure it.

  • Choose a location that receives only partial sunlight.
  • Choose an area that is somewhat secluded, preferably near dense foliage.
  • Hang the wren house anywhere from 5'-7' feet above ground.
  • Attach the wren house using a rope or chain that is secured by two i-hooks. This will prevent twisting.
  • Place the wren house north and south so the front faces away from the rising and setting sun.
  • If there are snakes in your area, choose a wren house that has a predator guard.

Next, read about the Northern Mockingbird»


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