House Wren

Photo © Noah Reiter

Quick Facts

  • House wrens will nest in anything from a tin can to an abandoned hornet’s nest.
  • They are very territorial and aggressive during mating season and will destroy the nests and eggs of other Wrens.
  • It is because of this that most experienced wrens tend to set up their nests far away from others if they can, although young wrens sometimes make theirs closer to an older wrens nest in order to learn from them.

This house wren is stuffing a stink bug into a nestling’s open beak and in a few seconds will zip off to hunt for more food. When it returns, it will perch first nearby and give a loud call, prompting the chicks to cheep and open wide. Both parents spend hours bringing insects, caterpillars, and spiders to their young. House wrens are cavity nesters – this nest is in a hole in a large sycamore tree. Male house wrens build a nest of sticks to attract a female, and if she approves of his work, she tops it off with grass and feathers. House wrens are only about 5” long and weigh as much as two quarters. But they have a lively, bubbly, jumbled song and sing loudly as they hop from a branch with their tail raised. In spring, you may hear one singing in Rose Canyon – or in your yard.


What do House Wrens eat?

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Many kinds of insects and arachnids such as beetles, spiders, earwigs, flies, daddy longlegs, leafhoppers, and springtails.