Wren, will this ever end?

By  | July 28, 2020 | Filed under: News

                           Several wren nests located at the same residence

MONTGOMERY-Placement of nest boxes is a popular activity to aid cavity nesting birds and is a simple means of attracting birds to your property. However, construction and placement of the finest nest box by no means ensures its use.

One of the simplest nest boxes to construct is one intended for wrens. House wren and Carolina wren are two nesting wrens that might use a nest box around your house. Carolina wrens are the more common species present year-round and nest statewide, while house wrens nest only in more northern parts of the state.

Wrens have a knack for building nests where one is not desired; inside a carport, storage or work building, often on a shelf and inside of an object sitting on a shelf, or in any nook or cranny! Multiple nests may be built before one is actually used. Nest construction is quick only taking about four days. A parked car over a long weekend may even become a nest site!

Nesting begins in March. A wren nest is a conglomeration of grasses, bark, leaves, hair, plastic and other assorted bits and pieces. A typical clutch has four whitish eggs heavily marked with small brown spots. If you discover a nest in an inconvenient place, check to see if any eggs or young in the nest. There is no regulation against removing or destroying an unoccupied wren nest. However, if eggs or young are present, intentionally destroying the nest is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal regulation. If you have an unwanted active wren nest, simply wait until the young leave the nest. The complete cycle from egg to fledgling is often less than one month.

If you have patiently waited out one ill-placed wren nest, don’t think the battle is over. Wrens may have up to three broods a season so you must remain vigilant in your quest discourage a nesting pair. Finally, if wrens nested inside your shed this year, there’s a good chance they will nest there again next year.

To learn more about wren species in Alabama check out the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Watchable Wildlife webpage.

Media Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 

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