I’ve always wanted to find a bird’s nest, watch the eggs hatch and the chicks grow. It took awhile and finally we’re blessed to have a pair of Carolina wrens nesting in our hanging Swedish ivy. When we saw them starting to build a nest within the leaves of the ivy, we got so excited and hoped they will choose it as their final nest. The ivy is so close to our balcony table and chairs where we usually hang out on our days off, that’s why we didn’t expect them to build it there. Then we found out that wrens are brave and are versatile nesters. They make nests near homes and even on shelves inside garages, utilizing discarded flowerpots, mailboxes, and a variety of things like dried grasses, dead leaves, pine needles, feathers, paper, plastic, or string. It’s also said that their nests have even been found in old coat pockets and boots. Males often build multiple nests before the pair makes a final selection.
Male and female Carolina wrens build their nests together and one of them may stay at the site while the other gathers material. The wren was so fast when it built the nest that’s why most of my photos are blurry. I tried to stay out of sight when they were there and used the lighter camera with a longer zoom lens.
The Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a common species of wren, resident in the eastern half of the USA, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. It’s a small bird with a round body and a long tail that often points upward. The head is large with very little neck, and the distinctive bill is long, slender, and down-curved. Both males and females are a bright, unpatterned reddish-brown above and a strong orange-buff underparts, has a striking pure white eyebrow stripe, with white chin and throat. Once bonded, the pair will stay together for life. It is also noted for its loud song, popularly rendered as “teakettle-teakettle-teakettle”.
Females typically lay between four to six eggs, normally over a period of several days, up to three times per year. The eggs are oval, grayish-white and sprinkled with reddish-brown spots. The eggs hatch in about two weeks with the first young wrens leaving their nest in another two weeks.
It was such a joy to find four eggs in the nest when I peeked inside last week. We didn’t touch anything and took a quick photo of the eggs while the mother wren was away. Nowadays, we’re staying out of that area in our balcony and waiting for the eggs to hatch. It’s just so exciting!