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House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

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Match Birds with Their Habitats

Particular birds are tied to particular habitats. An American Bittern calls from a freshwater marsh. Wild Turkeys like open woods, with fields and clearings. The House Wren favors gardens, hedgerows, and brushy woods. This Red Knot feeds on beaches and mudflats. The Mourning Dove likes brushy,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Right Birdhouse, Right Bird

Entice native birds -- including chickadees, nuthatches, and wrens (like this House Wren) -- to your garden with a birdhouse, or nestbox. Here’s the complicated part: you need to determine the size of the entrance hole. And that depends on the bird you want to attract. A smaller hole, around 1-1... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

The Tail of the Wren

The House Wren presents us with a classic bird image. That jaunty tail, twitching sharply as the wren scolds, puts an exclamation point on the bird's perky voice and attitude. The word "wren" comes to us intact from the Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon languages, where it referred specifically to the... read more »

Topics & Themes:  language

Bird Sound Types and Qualities Part I

Since it’s often hard to see a bird, veteran birders characterize the sounds of birds in order to identify them. So what words do they use? Well, they use “whistle,” for example, to describe the sound of this Olive-sided Flycatcher. And "rattle" for that of the Belted Kingfisher. There's the... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, sound

House Wrens and Dummy Nests

There may be no busier bird during the nesting season than a male House Wren. Just a day or so after completing his spring migration from the tropics, the male House Wren claims a territory and checks out several potential nest cavities. And in each of these locations, he builds a starter nest... read more »