Carolina Wren

Carolina wrens are famous, or should I say infamous, for not being picky about where they build their nests. The nest is a clumsy looking dome-shaped mass of leaves, grasses, roots, string, and whatever other debris happens to be lying about. It has a side entrance.

They’re officially listed as cavity nesters, building their nests inside a woodpecker hole, rock crevice or ledge, hollow log, or bird box. It seems though, that any fairly enclosed structure will do, flower pots, barbecue grills, unattended bowls in the back yard, an old boot out in the garage, a shirt pocket hanging on the line to dry, but you get it, just about anywhere.

One such Carolina wren pair is currently nesting in a video monitor located at our Red Wolf Overlook. The wrens are very tolerant of the many people that frequent the overlook and come and go quite regularly, feeding their nestlings every five minutes or so.

If you’re standing at the overlook, stand back a few feet and wait, one of the adult wrens will probably land on the wall or fence in front of you, bob and weave back and forth with an insect in its bill while surveying the situation, then quickly duck into the nest. He or she will just as quickly depart at the completion of its duty and head out in search of more insect prey to hand off to their nestling young in the nest.

Video monitor at wolf overlook. Arrow points to nest site.
Nest behind screen.
Adult perched on fence assessing safety of situation.
A quick dash into nest.
A look around before leaving nest.

What I assume is the same wren pair nested in this monitor last year. They were successful then, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be this year. However, no wild bird can stand too much interference with the nesting process, so give them some space while you’re at the wolf overlook. As I mentioned, the wrens are very tolerant of people, and they chose to nest in this high traffic location in the first place, but please don’t crowd the birds.

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