Monday, March 9, 2009

Bird of the Week - XXV

This week's "Bird of the Week is the Carolina wren. Twenty years ago, it would have been very rare to see a Carolina wren in Reading. Now, they are fairly common around town. This bird is a great example of range expansion, that is living organisms expanding the range in which they live. The Carolina wren is a bird of the Southeast but now can be found in all most all of Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire and southern Maine. It can be found in a wide range of habitats, from swamps to forest to residential area. They requires moderately dense shrub or brushy cover. They eat primarily insects, but can be found around winter bird feeders eating suet.
The Carolina wren is a small, buffy, songbird with rusty colored underparts. It oftens holds it tail in the upright position and it has a white eye stripe. The sexes look alike with the male slightly larger. The Carolina wren's song is a very loud, clear, 3-syllabled chant, like "tea kettle - tea kettle - tea kettle." It is one of the few birds that will sing in the dead of winter.
The Carolina wren is quite creative as to where it will nest and roost at night. It will nest in hanging plants, tipped over flower pots, nest boxes, it will even nest in garages if the door or window is kept open. Last winter, I had a Carolina wren roost (sleep) in my Christmas wreath hanging on my front door! Here are plans you could follow to build a shelter box for Carolina wrens, or other small birds, to use at night.
Photos taken from Cornells All About Birds.

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