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Carolina Wren's Nest


Since the mid-1980s Yvonne has maintained a registered NWF backyard wildlife habitat where a variety of birds, insects and frogs abound.


Photo Journal: Carolina Wren Bird, Nature's Pest Control

The little brown Carolina Wren birds with their perky tails and loud voices build a nest somewhere around our house each year. We photographed their nest in the hanging basket by the porch and on the window ledge. These friendly Wrens will build their nest almost anywhere.

Carolina Wrens are also an excellent pest control crew in the garden. When they have babies, hundreds of insects are consumed each day.

On this page, you'll find information about Carolina Wrens and many photographs of their nests and babies. We hope you enjoy this view into the life of this interesting and beneficial little bird.


Wren photo and all others on this page are copyright Y.L. Bordelon All Rights Reserved, unless otherwise noted.

Carolina Wren Facts and Fun

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), like the name implies, is a southern bird, although its range extends into the northeastern United States. This is the most common wren in South Louisiana.

Unlike its northern cousin, the house wren (which we rarely or never see), it gets along well with other cavity nesting birds. These perky little brown birds, with the big voice are great to have around the vegetable garden, especially if you garden organically. When they are nesting (and they will nest 3-4 times down here in the south), they devour thousands of harmful insects and larvae.


The quote by Thalassa Crusco comes to mind when I see a pair of Carolina Wrens making hundreds of trips to their nest bringing juicy bugs to the nestlings.


Today I am sure no one needs to be told that the more birds a yard can support, the fewer insects there will be to trouble the gardener the following year.

Diet of Carolina Wrens

Carolina Wren Males Brings Food by Y.L. Bordelon

Carolina Wren Males Brings Food by Y.L. Bordelon

According to Martin, Zim and Nelson in American Wildlife and Plants A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits, a Carolina Wren's diet consists mainly of animal food, including ants and other Hymenoptera, flies and millipedes. Fragments of small vertebrate animals are commonly found in their stomachs. Plant food makes up a small part of their diet and consists of Poision-ivy, Bayberry, Pine, Oak and Sweetgum.


Birds Love Suet


A wide variety of birds eat suet and Carolina Wrens love it. We put it out all year long, so we make a special "no-melt" kind. You'll find the recipe below.

Home Made Suet

2 cups (1 block) of LARD (animal fat)

1 cup CRUNCHY Peanut butter (cheap kind)

1 cup of Oatmeal

1 cup of unbleached flour

1 cup of cornmeal or wheat germ

Melt the lard a little in a big glass bowl (30 sec. in the microwave) and mix all of the ingredients together. It gets messy so let the kids get involved, they'll love it! Line a rectangular pan with a sheet of wax paper and press the mixture in. Pop it in the freezer for an hour or so, then cut it into blocks. We find that smaller ones (4" x 2") work best because the birds eat it before it can mildew in the hot, humid weather. Store the blocks in a ziploc bag in the freezer and refill your suet feeder as needed.


Old Fashioned Lard Animal Fat

Old fashioned animal fat or lard is best in suet. Many birds will not eat it if you use vegetable shortening. In my town, it is sometimes hard to find lard, so I've started ordering it from Amazon. This 16 oz size is just right for a batch of suet. I get several packages at a time and freeze the extra ones until I need them.

Suet Cakes and Basket Feeder

If you don't have time to make your own suet, or you are looking for a gift for the bird lover on your list, here are some ready made suet cakes.

Heath Outdoor Products DD-20 Fancy Suet Cake, Case of 16

Song and Nesting Habits

These little birds have a very loud voice for their size and the males love to sing. The male of the pair that built a nest in the hanging pot would sing with a bug in his mouth almost every time he brought food to the nest.

Listen to the song of the Carolina Wren.

A very interesting and endearing fact is that Carolina Wrens mate for life and that they stay together even when they are not breeding. We were able to observe this first hand with a pair which had a male with white wing and tail feathers. We observed this pair at Christmas in the "birds'" Christmas tree, gobbling up the suet together, then during breeding season and throughout the year.

Carolina Wrens will nest in standard Bluebird boxes with a 1 1/2" opening, but they will also use smaller houses with a 1 1/4 inch opening. Carolina wrens do not just nest in cavities, however, they do like to have a bit of an overhang of sorts when they choose a spot that is not a box. Around our house they've built their dome shaped nest of pine needles, leaves, fine grass and feathers in such an assortment of places and things that it calls for a list.

Guide to Eastern Birds' Nests

This book has helped us identify many birds' nests that we have found in our nest boxes and in shrubs and trees on our property. The pictures and descriptions are excellent.

Photo Journal of the Carolina Wren's Nest.

We were lucky to have a pair of Carolina Wrens build a nest in a hanging basket on our front porch. We were able to get some photographs with our automatic motion sensor camera and also our hand-held Canon camera.


Carolina Wren Poll


Our Carolina Wrens are at it Again!

The Carolina Wren pair that first nested in the Christmas Wreath that was left up too long (My husband LOVES Christmas and hates to see it go) and then in the hanging basket on the edge of the porch, have now nested around the corner in the window which holds our emergency (hurricane) A/C unit. This makes nest number three.


We first became aware of nest building activity when the cats and I heard little scritch-scratch sounds coming from outside on the right side of the window A/C unit. The cats took turns standing on the air-conditioner to peer out at the little pair as they busily brought pine needles, leaves, roots, moss and some feathers and arranged their dome nest in the small space.

Before we knew it, Mother Wren had laid four eggs and was sitting tight. The eggs hatched a couple of days ago. I knew because I began hearing the male give his, "Honey, I'm bringing food home" song. I just checked and took a picture and it looks like we have 3 (maybe 4) baby Carolina Wrens. We'll count this as Day 3. The babies fledged on Day 12.

Traditional Bluebird House - $ 34.50
This traditional Bluebird House has a 1 9/16 in hole. Woodlink makes high-quality, Ornithologically correct houses and shelters.

There was an old Man

There was an old man with a beard,

Who said: "It is just as I feared!

Two owls and a hen, Four larks and a wren

Have all built their nests in my beard"

by Edward Lear

1812-1888, English landscape Painter and Writer of an original kind of nonsense verse called the limerick.

Carolina Wren Foraging Video

Farmers Remember Quote

Let the farmer remember that every bird destroyed, and every nest robbed, is equivalent to a definite increase in insects with which he already has to struggle. He will soon appreciate the fact that he has a personal interest, and a strong one, in the preservation of birds. - Henry Oldys

Yesterday I took my saw

And some bits of wood,

And I made a little house

Nicely as I could.

I put on a mossy-green

Little pointed roof,

And I cut a tiny door

That is pussy-proof.

For I hope some little wrens

To our yard will come

And will choose my little house

For their little home.

I shall hang it in the boughs

Of the apple-tree,

And I'm sure as rent for it

They will sing to me!

Bluebird Pair Postcard by naturegirl7                

If you put up a well made bluebird house, many birds, including Carolina Wrens and Bluebirds will use it to raise their young.

Wren Poll

Cavity Nesting Birds Poster

A wonderful poster detailing 5 kinds of birds that nest in boxes. It would be a great gift for teachers, kids or birders..

5 Cavity-nesting Birds Posters
Price: 12.50

Cavity-Nesting Bird Poster. All the best-loved cavity-nesters are pictured on the front. Birdhouse tips, habitat needs, and other information is shown on the on back. Includes five copies.

The Sibley Guide to Birds of North America - $ 31.50
Sibley depicts and annotates 810 species, showing their stages, forms, shapes, colors, and markings. He describes each species' calls and provides a full-color range map showing migration routes as well as its summer, winter, and breeding locations.

Bird Field Guides

Singing Alarm Clock - $ 34.44
The Desk & Alarm Clock has its own special card: Beautiful BirdSongs, a selection of the 9 most beautiful bird songs from our collection. The alarm will awaken you to the gentle serenade of beautiful bird songs every morning.


Carolina Wren's Nest is on Isle of Squid

Isle of Squid

A Directory of the Best Squidoo Lenses

Carolina Wren's Nest has been added to the Isle of Squid website.

Please take time to submit a review about Carolina Wren's Nest .

Tell us about your experiences with Carolina Wrens.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 01, 2018:


Carolina wrens love porches and old flower pots. The female lays 1 egg a day. When they have 4-6 she starts to brood. If it is too busy by your back door, they will find another place. If not, by now you may have tiny babies in the nest and the feeding frenzy begins.

Cindy on June 12, 2018:

We had a pair of wrens build a nest in an old flower pot just inches from our back door which is heavily used by our family. It is not feasible for us to discontinue use of the door. My concern is that we may be harming the birds. They disappeared for a couple of days but today I noticed a single egg. The birds still have not been spotted. Are we to assume it was abandoned or can we expect the parents to return. I'm all about giving wildlife a chance. We do feed the birds and have houses all over the yard but yet they chose our screened in back porch with an old flower pot.

amy-townson-9 on January 06, 2014:

We have a single Carolina wren that lives on a ledge under our carport. It is going to be 11degrees tonight with a windchill below 0. This is when I decided to make my husband bring him inside because I was worried he would not make it through this cold. He never builds a nest he just buries himself in the corner of this ledge. I love to watch him so I couldn't bear to leave him out in this bitter cold and him not make it. Going to get suet in the morning and some crickets also. When it warms up a little I will release him. My husband dutifully built him a cozy house and he seems quite content

anonymous on July 24, 2013:

Never even heard of these birds until I stuck a big empty box (like you'd get at a store like Aldi to carry your food out, since they don't use plastic bags) out on my front porch swing. It's the funniest thing. The female laid 5 eggs. It's hard to tell how many of them hatched 4 days ago, but I can definitely see 3. They're so adorable and I love watching the female and male feed them (as their nest is RIGHT outside my living room window.) Can't wait to see them get bigger and fatter!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on March 27, 2013:

@anonymous: If the chicks are about a week old, then they should have some pin feathers covering their body. Once the chicks have a covering to keep them warm, the mother doesn't have to brood constantly. The chick also require more food, so the parents must hunt for longer periods of time. From now until the babies fledge, the parents will zip back and forth dropping food off and heading out for more.

anonymous on March 27, 2013:

@anonymous: My birds are about seven days old. Maybe older or younger. But the parents have been gone for a few hours. I am worried because this family of wrens have returned every year for about ten. I also am worried, I hope they did not abandon the chicks. They built their nest up in a shelf in the garage where my family continues to walk by. They don't mind us, but I maybe they decided they did.

anonymous on July 17, 2012:

Had carolina wrens build a nest under my pool propane tank lid. Watched the eggs for about two weeks and thought the birds only hatched last week. Watched daily mom and dad flying in and singing on the fence to feed the birds up until yesterday late afternoon. This morning there was no wren singing or any sign of mom or dad and when I checked the nest it was empty. Is it normal when they fledge to totally leave?

sagarcia01 on July 08, 2012:

We live in a small city and have the only garden on the block. We call the Carolina Family the "Gang of Four." Right now Mom and Dad are still teaching the little ones. They use my hanging baskets for flight practice. Last year the pair used one of my huge hanging begonia baskets for their nest. Every time I went out on the porch the pair dive bombed and sassed me. Love watching their antics!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 30, 2012:

@anonymous: Usually CAWR's will not reuse a nest in the same breeding season, but will often come back and tidy up a nest and raise young in the same place the next year.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 16, 2012:

@anonymous: Three feet off the ground is not high enough to keep predators away and cats would not be bothered by the window. You could put some fencing around the window box & a/c unit, that the wrens could get through, but predators couldn't. But the wrens might be frightened away and abandon the nest while you were setting it up. Tough decision.

anonymous on June 10, 2012:

Hello, I have a pair nesting in my Plastic flower box which only sits on an air conditionare. I find myself alwaqys looking to see what they are up to. They often yell at me as I sit on my patio only about 3-4 feet away. The flower box is only 3 foot oof ground. Right now eggs are in nest. Should I consider some protection to put over nest area for when the young arrive ? to combat stray cats, racoons etc ? or being up and close to window should be fine ?

Thank You....

anonymous on June 10, 2012:

Will reuse a nest after their brood fledged?

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Is your birdhouse the kind that has a door so that you can look in? If so, have you looked at the babies? It's not good to frighten babies that are so close to fledging, but if you are positive that the parents have not visited the nest since yesterday, then put your hand over the hole or put a sock in the hole and check to see the condition of the babies.

It is possible that something happened to the parents. If the babies appear to be in distress, then you should contact a wildlife rehabilitator. I hope that this will not be necessary because Carolina Wrens are primarily insect eaters so they require a special diet.

Hopefully the parents were just in and out so fast, that you didn't notice them.

anonymous on June 07, 2012:

@naturegirl7s: Thanks, still no parents, but lots of chirping inside the birdhouse. Should I be concerned that they are not being fed?

anonymous on June 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Thought I'd let you know that my babies fledged a couple of days later and we got to watch them leave the nest. It was wonderful! BOTH babies survived!

Here's the video. The first baby is already on the top of the nesting box when the second one comes out. It's the first time we realize that they both survived. Very happy here!

anonymous on June 07, 2012:

I have a pair of Carolina wrens living and raising a brood in a flowers basket on my front porch, they seem to fly in every few minutes with little green caterpillars,to feed the wrenlets, I went out to water my hanging basket the other day and got a right telling off, because i was to close to her basket so I am staying away till evening when they fly in to rest, its fascinating to watch, I feel so privileged.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Linda,

You said that you've been watching them feed the babies for a couple of weeks. Carolina Wren young fledge when they are from 12-14 days old. It sounds like the parents are withholding food so that the chicks will follow them out of the nest. They should leave the nest today and be off on the great adventure of learning to feed themselves.

anonymous on June 07, 2012:

I need some help, not sure what to do, for a couple weeks I have a pair of wrens feeding their young (nested in a bird house on the front porch). I have watched them every day for a week or so. Yesterday, I heard the babies screaming but no mother or father, I watch for them all day and never saw the parents. I got up early this morning and have watched for hours no parents but screaming babies. What can I do, I hate to let them die.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 04, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you for the wonderful comment and for caring about these little insect eating birds. You are a real trooper to play doorman for the pair. I'm glad you are enjoying the live reality show, "Wren TV". :D

anonymous on June 04, 2012:

I have a screened-in front porch and about a month ago or so, I noticed a little bird flying around inside. Because the front door to the porch doesnât always shut tight and leaves a two or three inch opening, I had assumed he had gotten in and couldnât find how to get out (which has happened with birds before). I propped the door wide open and hoped heâd find his way out. Later that day I noticed he was back and wasnât alone. There were two of them and they were bringing nesting materials to a hanging plant on the porch. They would fly down to the stoop by the door then hop thru the opening and fly up to the hanging plant.

I immediately came online to find out more about these little birds and found out they were Carolina Wrens. Thanks to your site I have learned a great deal about these little birds. I was initially surprised that they would choose a hanging plant INSIDE a screened-in porch to make a nest, but after reading more about them on your site I see that it is not all that unusual for these birds. They seem to be brave little critters. This was evident the day I left the front door to the house open and one decided to fly into my house. I finally got him out and now I make sure to keep the front door to the house closed. They are welcome to stay on my front porch, but the inside of the house itself is off limits lol.

Anyway, itâs been a pain having to get up and open the porch door a crack to let them in and out each morning (around 5:30 or 6am), but itâs worth it, as now there are at least 2 (I have only seen 2, but I think there are more) baby wrens in the nest. I have to admit, I enjoy watching the industrious little parents bringing grubs and such to feed their babies all day long and Iâm glad they chose my porch for their home. Thank you for all the great info on these birds. Nice site.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 03, 2012:

@anonymous: Job well done. When the babies fledge, they should be fine as long as the mother and father continue to care for them.

Blue Jays will attack nests of smaller birds and eat the eggs and/or young. We throw the chicken egg shells in the compost. I read somewhere that if the Blue Jays have a ready source of calcium, that they will not bother other birds' nests as much. It's worth a try to it adds minerals and helps to neutralize the acidity of leaves and pine needles in the compost.

anonymous on June 03, 2012:

@anonymous: You are so nice to have done this. God bless!

anonymous on June 03, 2012:

We have a pair of Carolina Wrens who come back each year and nest in our Hanging Basket right outside of our office patio doors (my husband works from home).

We've been listening to the babies get increasingly LOUD over the past week or so and then on Saturday we witnessed in horror as the nest was attacked by a Blue Jay. It was horrible! We scared him off and hoped for the best. It happened repeatedly over the course of the day and we were beside ourselves.

We contacted a wildlife rehabilitator and she said that the babies would be fine if we moved them so I went to the pet store and purchased a nesting box and some hay. We made a makeshift nest (it was getting dark and we were in a hurry) and I lined it with some 100% wool felt (I had a wool babyhat I accidentally washed one time... lol).. and my husband went to move the babies. The nest was totally exposed now having had the top ripped off by the Blue Jay and the first baby looked dead. My husband tried to pull it out of the way when it started moving so we popped it into the nest. We were certain at least one of them had died. The second one didn't move much, but it was still alive and could have been playing possum, so to speak!

The next day they were horribly quiet. Mum and Dad were still feeding them, but not very often. They went from chirping CONSTANTLY and LOUDLY to no sound at all.

Anyway, over the course of the weekend the feedings have picked up, the noise and picked up and we're seeing a little mouth at the entrance to the nest.

Mum and Dad seem totally unfazed by the moving of the nest and they are much much safer now from that pesky Blue Jay. I'm a little concerned as to how they'll survive after they fledge, but we've done the best we can. It's over to Mum and Dad now.

I love my Blue Jays, and you can intervene and help. I know it's just nature etc. but if your child was sick and getting hurt you'd take help, so I figure these little guys deserve no less from me!

anonymous on May 31, 2012:

Thanks for the quick reply. I will clear the part of the nest that is on the deck and leave the nest in the hanging basket. We are supposed to maybe have some bad weather tonight. The hanging basket is shaded by an umbrella that I put up. I think because I have a suet feeder and hummingbird feeder on the deck that it might attract the raccoon even though I take them in when it gets dark. There was no sign of egg shells or even a trace of the mama, I hope she got away. Maybe I need to move the other feeders though I don't like to move the hummingbird feeder as they are used to it being there, thanks anyway for your advice.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on May 31, 2012:

@anonymous: I'm sorry about the nest being destroyed. It does sound like a raccoon. If I were you, I'd clear the nest off of the railing and leave the hanging basket up, if there is a plant in it. More than likely, that pair will not nest there again. Most birds will not go back to a nesting site that has been attacked. However the Carolina Wrens may build another nest somewhere near by, if the mother was not injured. I'm hoping for the best.

anonymous on May 31, 2012:

I had Carolina wrens that built a nest in my hanging basket on my deck. I also had a suet feeder and hummingbird feeder near by that I brought in every night. This morning part of the nest was resting on the wooden railing near the nest, the 6 eggs were all gone, no sign of the mother. I think it must have been a raccoon as it drank the water out of the water container that was above the hummingbird feeder. Should I just remove the hanging basket or remove what is left of the nest. I don't want them to nest there again as I don't want this to happen again. How long should I leave the partial nest up or leave what was put on the wooden railing on the deck?.

mary-coppingertaylor on May 09, 2012:

This is the second year for wrens. Last year they nested in our boat hitch. One day I was sitting outside watching the parents feed them. I was very fortunate to witness the parents coax them out to fledge. This was the neatest thing, they squawed at them telling them its time. And they jumped out to fly all at one time. This year they nested in a wren house. Unfortunately the babies (which were about to fledge )were attacked by a snake. The snake was found inside the house with some of it hanging out the side. This was a very big snake--5 feet long after we got in out of the house.

anonymous on April 29, 2012:

We have 5 little nestlings in my mailbox and have been watching eagerly as the parents care for them. We thought the nest was empty, but one day when we went outside we saw the mama fly out in a hurry and heard little high-pitched squealing from inside. I'm going to hang a suet feeder today in hopes of encouraging the wrens to stick around our house for a long time to come!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 21, 2012:

@anonymous: Not necessarily. After all the eggs are laid, the mother begins to incubate the eggs. She will sit on them for about 2 weeks. The parent birds are not very active at this time. When the babies hatch, the father begins bringing food to the nest. Are the wrens Carolina or House wrens?

As for the small black birds that resemble finches, I'm at a loss. There are some birds like house sparrows (which is actually a finch from Europe) that will break eggs and rob nests, but they are more gray and brown. You may want to consult an online bird guide. Cornell has a good one. Or you could check out a bird guide from the library. I recommend Sibley or Kaufman's.

anonymous on April 21, 2012:

I have a nest of wren eggs that I just noticed today that small black finches (or resembles) are at the entrance poking there heads in. I haven't seen the mother today. Are the eggs dead?

anonymous on April 21, 2012:

I have a nest of wren eggs that I just noticed today that small black finches (or resembles) are at the entrance poking there heads in. I haven't seen the mother today. Are the eggs dead?

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 16, 2012:

@anonymous: Do you have house sparrows, house wrens and/or blue jays in your area? All of these birds are known to take babies from the nest. Some rodents may also rob nests. Rodents would probably be nocturnal visitors.

I doubt that the parent CAWR were the culprits. But, as you said, this is the cycle of life: Predator, Prey, Producer. CAWR often build 2-3 nests each year, so even if this early nest is not successful, they will probably still reproduce this year.

anonymous on April 16, 2012:

@naturegirl7s: I thought of this, but the eggs were all identical when we checked before hatching. Additionally, I have never seen a cowbird in our area, and I keep a pretty close watch on the birds. Further, at least one of the chicks was too far from the nest to have been simply pushed out by another chick. Unfortunately, I fear it is too late to save the two. Thanks for your suggestion.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 16, 2012:

@anonymous: If the babies are still alive, put them back. Look at the babies still in the nest. If one is a lot larger than the others, you may have a cowbird baby that is knocking the wren babies out. Cowbirds lay their eggs in smaller birds' nests and the baby cowbirds will over power the young wrens so the cowbirds will get all of the food.

Cowbirds are a native bird, but in some areas have become over populated and are threatening warblers and other small birds.

anonymous on April 16, 2012:

We have a Carolina Wren nest in a girl's bicycle handlebar pouch just outside our door. We've watched as 5 eggs were laid. They hatched two or three days ago. This morning, first one, then two of the chicks were lying on the brick walk near the nest, still alive. It is impossible that the chicks could have fallen from the nest (it's in a plastic satchel). It seems unlikely that a predator would remove the chicks and leave them alive nearby. Is it possible that the parents tossed two of the chicks out of the nest? Perhaps they couldn't adequately feed 5 babies? This was a terrible dilemma for us, what to do? Tried watching for a while to see if we could determine what had/was happening. Parent returned and fed the nest chicks a bug, then watched the nest from a secure location. Decided not to intervene---if the parents had tossed the chicks, putting them back could have endangered the remaining chicks---but this was heartbreaking. Can't find any discussion of this behavior, nor any other logical explanation. Can anyone more knowledgeable offer any insight? Thanks, we have to have a "circle of life" discussion with our children this evening.

anonymous on April 15, 2012:

@naturegirl7s: How incredible!!! Thank you so much for clearing this mystery up for us. Still shaking my head in wonderment! I actually caught a portion of the exchange in a couple of photos. Can't wait to post this with my next batch of photos in the album "Birds in Spring" on my Facebook page.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 15, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks for posting. Yes, they can be tricky, but it is survival of the fitest.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 15, 2012:

@anonymous: The parents try to keep the nest and area around it as clean as possible to keep predators from following the birds' scent to the nest. What you saw was one of the babies "poop sacks". Baby birds' poop is incased in a membrane so the parents can carry it away from the nest. I guess you could think of it as a bird style biodegradible disposable diaper.

anonymous on April 15, 2012:

Question - A box of baby Carolina wrens (one week old) are being fed by their parents right outside our window. Today I twice witnessed the mother feed, then wait, and then receive from a baby a small white pellet about the size of a jelly bean. What in the world is this???

anonymous on January 02, 2012:

Wanted to tell a funny story. Two summers ago when I discovered this site, I had a wren nesting in my hanging petunia plant. I wrote to you about watering my plant. I took your advice about watering very slowly and watered once a week. We went on vacation for a week. When we returned I did not hear any baby birds chirping nor see the mother feeding the babes. I was very concerned, took the hanging basket down and saw three sweet little ones in the nest. They had feathers but their eyes were closed. They looked dead. I touched the beak of the biggest one. Nothing; no movement. I touched another's beak; still nothing. They were all perfectly still. Sadly, I placed the basket back, assuming they had died for some reason. I told my husband; I couldn't understand why they would have grown so and then just died. The planter was one of two identicals on my front porch. Later that day, my husband said, he saw the mother going to the nest. when I crouched down by the window, I saw the mother go to the nest and heard the babies chirping!!!! Those little buggers had played possum!!! I had been truly tricked but I was so relieved!!!!!

umbrellastand3 on January 01, 2012:

Thanks for this lens! love it.


umbrella stand

GrowWear on July 30, 2011:

Aww. They do build in interesting ways. They must have the heart of an architect. :)

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 18, 2011:

@anonymous: Are the babies 17 days old or has it been 17 days since you put the eggs back? Are there still 2 parents?

They normally fledge when they are 12-14 days old, but weather conditions and food supply can cause them to stay in the nest longer.

anonymous on June 17, 2011:

I have some C-Wrens nesting in a planter on my front porch. A cat knocked over the plant stand and some of the eggs opened. I put them back in the nest and secured the planter. Three survived but it's day 17 and they still haven't flown from their nest.

Sensitive Fern on May 30, 2011:

We mostly have House Wrens here in eastern Iowa, at least in town, but every once in a while I hear a Carolina Wren. Blessed and featured on my Creative Squid lens.

pawpaw911 on May 23, 2011:

Very nice lens. Just did a lens on Coscoroba Swans, and figured I would check out some bird lenses.

Ann from Yorkshire, England on May 08, 2011:

another wonderful lens - wish I could feature all of them but Angel blessed :0)

anonymous on March 04, 2011:

Your webpage is wonderful. We have Carolina wrens and are amazed at how LOUD they are. We love watching them also. Just this morning I was lucky enough to see them building a nest in a log cabin birdhouse that is just outside my office window. The pair are both bringing materils and going in and out of the house right now. I have outside cats and am in a dilemma over this.

Jeanette from Australia on February 07, 2011:

What delightful little creatures! Beautiful page.

Indigo Janson from UK on February 02, 2011:

I enjoyed meeting your Carolina Wrens and love the Christmas wreath nest! Enchanting! That looks like a fun alarm clock too.

anonymous on November 22, 2010:

Awesome lens! I love birds and feed all kinds here in PA.

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on September 03, 2010:

Interesting lens. Love the pics. :)

anonymous on July 29, 2010:

@naturegirl7s: Thanks soooo much! I am so glad I found this site!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 29, 2010:

@anonymous: Yes, from 26-30 days until they leave the nest. Maybe a few days sooner, depending on how long she had been incubating.

You can be assured that as long as she and her mate are feeding babies, that the area around the nest will be free of insects. Then, of course, when the babies start eating on their own, you will have more additions to your free, non-toxic pest control service. :>

anonymous on July 28, 2010:

@naturegirl7s: I'm not sure this went through the first time. Sorry if it's duplicated!There are 4 eggs in there! :>) I will be careful and only water when necessary. After the eggs hatch, it will be 12-16 more days until the babies are ready to leave the nest? So a total of roughly 14 plus 12-16 (26-30) days in all? Thanks so much for the info!

anonymous on July 28, 2010:

@naturegirl7s: There are 4 eggs in there! :>) I will be careful and only water when necessary. After the eggs hatch, it will be 12-16 more days until the babies are ready to leave the nest? So a total of roughly 14 plus 12-16 (26-30) days in all? Thanks so much for the info!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 28, 2010:

@anonymous: You should be able to continue watering the plant if you carefully direct the stream of water to the side away from the nest and water slowly. She's going to fuss, but you should be able to work it out. I wouldn't take the pot down to check. You know she's there and she's probably sitting on eggs or young babies if she was fussing so.

The eggs hatch in less than 2 weeks and the babies will leave the nest in 12 to 16 days.

anonymous on July 28, 2010:

I just watered the gorgeous hanging petunia on my porch and a bird flew out! It's a wren and she was ticked off!!!! She/he "yelled" at me for 20 minutes (even though I went in and out of her sight). I can see the nest (from my window) and it's off to one side. I am wondering if there is some way I could continue watering the plant without bothering her? Since I've read that 5 nests are usually built, could I, in some humane way, discourage this as the "choice nest?" I am not sure there are eggs in the nest. Should I take the plant down and look? Help! I really don't want my plant to die! Is it doomed?

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 19, 2010:

@anonymous: Young Carolina Wrens grow fast. At a week old, they probably have enough pin feathers that Mom doesn't need to brood them at night any more, in the summer heat. The young leave the nest from 12 to 16 days, so don't be surprised if the nest is empty in a few days.

anonymous on July 19, 2010:

The baby wren's hatched last week. The nest that she has chosen is inside our garage that we only keep up when we are home. Up until last night the dad or mom was in the nest with the babies, but last night niether one was in nest. We hated to go to bed and close garage doors without one being in nest but it was almost 1:00 am and still no sign. A lady at work says it is possible mom or dad can't fit in nest and was in rafters of garage or something. I

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 17, 2010:

@anonymous: I hope Joe does have good luck with them. Carolina Wrens often build nests down low to the ground within reach of inquisitive cats. We keep our cats inside, but now have a neighbor's cat which has "adopted" us. She'll probably have to come inside, too, once they have officially given her to us. :)

Hope your chicken gets better fast.

anonymous on July 16, 2010:

@naturegirl7s: Well, here's an update: The Mother was killed by my lovely Cat Simon. I did all I could for Mom, but she wasn't having anything to do with me. She took off out of my hands hopping and running. She couldn't fly because he sliced her right below the rib. I finally caught her AGAIN and put her in with her babies, she didn't stay long, because I found her in my driveway dead. I fed the little ones some insects and wet dog food with tweezers. I put the nest in a box and shipped them off to my buddy who is really retired and really bored. I said "good luck Joe" and now I'm done. I have a sick chicken and so many other animals on my homestead to take care of. I just don't have the time.

Thank you for responding to my request for help.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 16, 2010:

@anonymous: The mother may have been injured. Do you have someone in your area that rehabilitates birds and animals? That would be the best solution. Tiny babies are hard if you are a novice and since wrens eat mostly insects, it is difficult to duplicate the proper formula. Small crickets or live meal worms may work until you can find a someone who has done this before. Try bait shops or pet stores to get these.

If you're sure the Mom isn't coming back, after a few hours, put the babies in a cardboard box in a nest of paper towels and keep them warm and protected from the cat and other predators. Search the internet and/or call local pet shops, the Audubon society and other bird places to find a local rehabilitator ASAP.

anonymous on July 16, 2010:

Does anyone know how to care for baby Carolina Wrens? My cat jumped up and snagged the Mother right out of the plant, on my deck. I rescued the mother / father but she took off and hasn't come back.

myraggededge on July 12, 2010:

You have a talent for putting together wonderful lenses. This one is no exception. Blessed :-)

anonymous on July 03, 2010:

We have enjoyed seeing this busy little carolina wren couple build two separate nests on top of a rolled up carpet with plastic over it standing up in our garage. The first litter was out and in a couple of weeks and then less than two months later we are observing the second litter of four. The parents are constantly bringing insects/bugs of all kinds to their babies while the babies chirp up a storm. It had been very endearing to observe. I won't be moving the rolled up carpet anytime soon!!!!

the777group lm on July 02, 2010:

Yes, most days I go for an hour long walk and a couple of weeks ago, I seem to have been escorted by one of the eagles, flying parallel to me, going off on sorties and then returning. We "met" on the top of a hill (the end of my walk) where it hovered in the thermals for 10 minutes or so and then it seemed to escort me back for about half the return leg. It was a magical experience - almost certainly coincidence - but still wonderful!

Karen from U.S. on July 02, 2010:

Carolina wrens are kind of new to our area (southeast Michigan), and I remember being bewildered when I first heard their song. We also have house wrens in the area. I love your nest photos!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 02, 2010:

@the777group lm: Oh, how wonderful, Sea Eagles! We occasionally see Bald Eagles flying over our property and one time a mother and immature one landed in a pine tree above our water well. They nest nearby at Lake Ramsey.

the777group lm on July 01, 2010:

These pictures are wonderful. Great stuff.Unfortunately there are no Carolina wrens here in Australia but I do have a pair of sea eagles that I see pretty often.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 29, 2010:

@anonymous: There are some photos of Carolina Wren babies near fledging in the photo journal. Generally, if the little one is running around, he's supposed to be out of the nest. Carolina Wrens often have 5-6 young, so they must divide their time. We also have photos of Cardinals, Chickadees and Prothonotary Warblers on other lenses.

anonymous on June 28, 2010:

we need a picture of the babies. we have a small fledgeling running on the patio floor, but

the wrens are paying this little guy no attention. we have other birds that nest in the area and are not sure that this is a wren at all. Do we return it to the nest? or leave it fend for itself!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 11, 2010:

@spartanwren: Sometimes a pair will use a nest again, but usually they will make a new nest in a sheltered place nearby.

spartanwren on June 11, 2010:

do they use the same nest over? we have one set of babies this year and the parents

seem to be coming back

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 06, 2010:

@anonymous: Sometimes these birds won't start incubating right away. Also, if they have not started incubating and something disturbs the nest, they may abandon it. It all depends on the temperament of the individual pair.

anonymous on June 02, 2010:

We have a pair who feverishly built a nest in the drawer of the bbq grille and then she laid 4 eggs and disappeared, and a few days later laid 2 more but both birds have not been around other than an occasional fly by to check on the nest then leaving. Is it common for them not to incubate? It's been over a week and no activity regarding the eggs (and I didn't use the grille during this time).

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on April 15, 2010:

@ss834 lm: I checked with my friend who is more knowledgeable about unique bird id, than I. What she said was that Carolina Wrens vary greatly in coloration and markings and it could be that you aren't seeing the birds in bright light, which would make everything more contrasty, more stark Black or White. The eyestripes both bright white and black through the eye, white patches, black straps all sound good for Carolina Wren. The black bellies are what throws things off. Carolina Wrens usually have rusty-colored bellies not white except close to the vent. The bellies could appear black because they are dirty or mussed from incubating or raising young.

I hope this helps and congratulations on the nest. Mine are busy over here in Covington, too.

ss834 lm on April 14, 2010:

Do you have any information about differences in the Carolina wren color patterns? We've got a pair of birds tentatively identified as Carolina wrens, however there are a few discrepancies in the coloring. One is that the eye stripe is very bright and there is a bright white patch just under the eye, separated by a dark black stripe horizontally across the eye. Also, the belly is not white! The bird building the nests (the male?) has a black belly and breast, with a white patch just below his "chin" and two black straps on either side of the white patch (like a jumpsuit). The other bird has a black belly and white patch, but the straps are absent. Very curious, because everything else-- behavior, nest building, size, shape, and back color are all consistent with the Carolina wren. We are in Hammond.

anonymous on July 26, 2009:

We, too, had a nest in a planter. It had three eggs in it. One day, we were able to see one baby. In the next 2 days, the nest was empty and appeared deserted. I haven't touched it, but am fearful that the baby/babies died. Or could the parents have moved them somehow? This is our first experience with them and we were loving it!

anonymous on July 05, 2009:

[in reply to naturegirl7]

Thanks for the reply - I hope you're right and I'm on the lookout for the 'little family' to make a reappearance....


Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on July 04, 2009:

[in reply to Mary] The babies fledge about 2 weeks after hatching. More that likely your babies are fine and are hiding in the shrubbery and their parents are feeding them there. You may see the little family in a week or so as the youngsters become more coordinated and learn to feed themselves.

anonymous on July 04, 2009:

I had a pair of Carolina Wrens who nested in a decorative wreath on my porch this summer. Everything seemed to be going according to the textbook - in other words they built a nest and then they seemed to be bringing spiders and bugs to what must have been baby birds in the nest. Long story short -- after all this busy activity for weeks -- the day before yesterday (July 2) during the afternoon I realized the birds had completely vanished. I was really devastated and thought something (bad) must have happened to them and started looking up nesting and fledging behavior on the internet. I'm hoping that the babies fledged and everyone has taken off into the woods or something. Any guesses on what could have happened to the wrens from more expert birders out there? Thank you ! Mary

FloraAndFauna on June 30, 2009:

My brother and his wife left the window open too long or too often and a pair of Carolina wrens built their nest in their shower in something hanging from the pole, so the human landlords had to forget about closing their window for awhile... they must have been good hosts as the wrens built on a shelf in their bedroom closet the next year. They said the birds would fly over their heads and out the window in the morning while they were laying in bed. I guess one could put a sheet of newspaper on the floor under the nest??? Or do they not poo near the nest? Mine are in a tool caddy on a shelf on my carport right now, so I haven't noticed.

A sad thing about cowbirds is that the baby, once grown, tends to lay it's eggs in the same species of bird as it grew up with - they seem more "parental" to it, perhaps. Imprinted? Ours tend to "prey on" cardinals, and can really put a dent in the cardinal population.

anonymous on June 22, 2009:

We live in Florida, and have had these little guys build nests inside our garage on a shelf and in our tool chest, in our bicycle basket, in the guard on our weed eater, in a fountain on the wall outside our front door, and in a wreath on our front door

greenerme on June 09, 2009:

Beautiful photos, I would love to have a nest of these in our backyard! We do have the occasional Carolina Wren visit us here at our feeder in Mass, but I don't think they're nesting nearby.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on June 06, 2009:

[in reply to Karen] Yes Karen, it probably was another kind of bird. The Brown headed Cowbird female lays its eggs in other, smaller birds' nests. The large baby cowbird will sometimes push the other babies out of the nest. Hopefully, since your little ones are still alive, one of the parents will continue to feed them now that the cowbird has fledged. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you & the wrens.

anonymous on June 06, 2009:

I have a wren's nest in a hanging basked just outside the window. About a 1 1/2 weeks ago the parents started feeding four babies. One of the babies was a very greedy eater and grew very quickly. It seemed to be larger than the parents when it left the nest,it's beak did not seem as long as a wren's (more like a sparrow). Is it possible for another kind of bird to lay it's egg in a wren's nest? The other three are still feeding but are still tiny. I got a good picture of the the first bird. I will try to get pictures of these to compare.

anonymous on May 13, 2009:

I live in the Indianapolis area. In our garage, against the back wall, on a top shelf, sits my husbands full face motorcycle. Tucked nicely inside is a Carolina Wren and 3 eggs! She and her mate have pecked away part of the rubber strip on the bottom of the garage door, so they can get in and out. I hope the little peeps can find their way out too! I think it's been about 2 weeks, so I guess they should be hatching any time now!

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on May 07, 2009:

I have been looking for a guidebook to bird's nests. Please let me know if you ever find one.

anonymous on May 05, 2009:

I just had the most wonderful experience right outside my front door. I left my Christmas wreath up because it was so pretty...well the Carolina wrens decided it was a perfect to raise their babies. I was able to watch it all through my bay window feet away from the daily acitivities of this family.

They had 3 babies and my neighbor's cat proved to be very troublesome. My jingle bells were still on my front door so whenever I would hear the mom and dad getting upset all I'd have to do is open the front door and off ran the cat. It was wonderful to watch them every day and couldn't believe how quickly they grew and were gone. A whole new meaning for "empty nest syndrome"... I miss them.

anonymous on April 09, 2009:

i believe it is a carolina wren that has built a nest in an old wreath hanging on my front door, and i actually live in NC! at first i didn't realize what was happening when pine straw was building up in the wreath, my husband is the one that figured it out. there are now 5 dark pink eggs with light pink speckles, i didn't know it would lay that many. i have never seen the bird, and there are renovations going on in our apartment building right now. yesterday they painted right next to the wreath and i was sure that was the end, but this morning there was another egg! i have asked them not to paint the door, i am really hoping they don't!

ElizabethJeanAl on January 26, 2009:

Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


ElizabethJeanAl on January 26, 2009:

Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


ElizabethJeanAl on January 26, 2009:

Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


dustytoes on December 31, 2008:

I live in NH and one winter a Carolina Wren showed up and stayed all throughout the winter. His/her favorite food was Smartfood popcorn! I just love Wrens and your lens is excellent!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 18, 2008:

Great lens about our SC state bird.

ElizabethJeanAl on October 26, 2008:

The Carolina Wren is a plump little bird but it sings so sweet. I have several that visit my yard everyday.

Great lens


Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on October 09, 2008:

Beautiful like all your pages. I am finally retired and I am going to cook suet instead of dinner.

julieannbrady on August 20, 2008:

Ah, my how this is such an awesome lens -- I am a bird lover from way back as it surely must be in my blood -- Your photos add such an inviting and authentic touch to your lens(es). Love love love it! 5*****

anonymous on August 01, 2008:

Wrens (Carolina, I think!) have built a nest in a small yellow pale on my front porch. A bit precarious, the only protection over the nest is a large round coca-cola thermostat that I had leaned there.

I thought the babies had been left by their parents but upon closer observation, I see that just about every 15 minutes, one or the other shows up with a big fat juicy worm!

This is my first -up close- encounter with watching birds nesting and raising their young and it is so exciting.

Love your site!

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