Rural perspectives: The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludov icianus)

Photo credit: Diane Gray Constable

by Diane Gray Constable

Although they are not as common as the house wren, you may see these cute Carolina wrens at your winter bird feeders. Because they usually eat insects, they enjoy munching suet containing peanut butter or mealworms and peanuts during the winter.

To keep warm they find shelter in small bird houses, thick shrubs and small crannies in buildings—anywhere a bird weighing less than an ounce can fit. They also fluff their feathers to keep heat in like the one pictured on the left is doing. Their feet stay warm because their tiny arteries and veins are so close together that the warmer blood of the arteries sends enough warmth to the veins to protect them from frostbite.

In Summer, you may hear their favorite song. It sounds as if they are singing ‘teakettle-teakettle.’ Carolina wrens mate for life and build nests in all sorts of places: tree cavities, wood and brush piles, flowerpots, old jars, whatever strikes their fancy.

Fun fact. They are the loudest bird for their weight group and have nearly 40 songs to sing.

Diane Gray Constable

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