Friday, July 10, 2009

Wren Refuge


Weeds for Wren-t
... TO WEED OR NOT TO WEED THAT IS THE QUESTION

Letting my weeds go this year in my backyard for the sake of Wren-topia is my excuse ... and I'm sticking to it! My back yard is weedy this year, a bug infested smorgasbord for insect eating birdies. This was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made. Yes, having an excuse to not pull weeds did factor into this decision, but the real pull happened very early this spring. A Wren couple returned to my yard singing as only the House Wren can.


I had this aha moment (flipping through those stored files in my head) ... when I remembered reading that the House Wren prefers overgrown gardens when picking a palace to raise their young. Now last year was the first year a House Wren had built a nest in my yard. Unfortunately the fickle female said, "Um, no thanks ... there's not enough shelter, and where are all the little beasties to feed the babes, babe?" It was not the best nest.

This year I wanted my yard to be 'approved' by Mr. Wren's blushing bride. By not pulling the weeds, I hoped 'my garden of weedin' would entice and enchant the female into singing, "Yes, Yes Yes! This nest is best!", as her hardworking honey led her across the threshold.

Fortunately Mr. Wren did just so happen to collect the perfect arrangement of twigs, and sticks, grass and weeds to build this 'best nest' in the birdhouse on my Garage. My overgrown garden and the growing clematis on my garage was just what the Mrs. was looking for! They raised a family of five in my yard this year. All season long I had the pleasure of listening to the happy family. The sound makes you feel like skipping. It is fruitful, crisp and clear. It alone is enough to brighten even the cloudiest day.

Quietly I would sit watching these captivating cinnamon brown birds. They would dart out of my pear tree and dance about my garden before returning with ... well anything from a thick juicy caterpillar bulging from it's beak, to long legged spiders and curled up slugs. Did you know that the House Wren is capable of singing with a beak full of bug? On key! Can you Karaoke with a mouthful of mayonnaise?


IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED
When the big day finally arrived, the babies spent an entire morning and afternoon discovering the big new world in and beyond my backyard. The first fledgling just popped out of the bird house and took off! It was gone before I raised my camera.. but they don't go far and aren't quite able to navigate with ease. The second one sat on the edge of the birdhouse and visually soaked in it's surroundings for quite some time. It's first attempt at flight was a heaving jump start landing itself on the clematis vine growing up my garage. It flapped then fell and flopped then flew and fell and flapped and flopped .... until all of a sudden it just took off into the big beautiful beyond. There are many more captivating images from this shoot. You can see them in my smug mug gallery at http://nature-allybeautiful.smugmug.com/ in the backyard bird category.

Fun Facts - A little Wren-formation:
  • Wrens nest in cavities ... and love weedy overgrown yards with many birdhouse choices. They will also nest in other odd choices like old boots, as long as it is a cavity.
  • The male House Wren will begin to prepare several different nesting sites to attract the female to the nest. He adds a few sticks to each cavity.
  • The female House Wren chooses the nest she likes best. When pleased with a nest she will then help finish building it by adding small sticks and grass.
  • Wrens eat and will collect bugs for their young all day long ... from dusk till dawn.
  • What man considers a pest the wren considers a delicacy.
  • If you are lucky enough to have the House Wren nest in your backyard ... your garden will benefit from a natural pest control ... wren patrol. Don't spray pesticides during their stay, it may harm them. You scratch their backs they scratch yours as the saying goes.

1 comment:

  1. I like the clever play on words ...Wren t (made me smile); The humor behind to weed or NOT to weed, fliping brilliant (we should all be able to so logically justify our actions) I love how the story links to your webpage and the BEAUTIFUL images...I've added you to my RSS feeds and look forward to future posts :)

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