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Wren Facts

Carolina Wren
photo copyright 2002 by Michele Hendrick

There are about 79 species of wrens in the world. All but one are found only in the Americas. The Winter Wren is also found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nine species of wrens live in the United States and Canada. This page will give you interesting facts about


House Wren
Copyright by Ann Cook

Here are some interesting facts about House Wrens.

  • Classification:
    • Kingdom Animalia (animal, not plant)
    • Phylum Chordata (has a spinal cord)
    • Subphylum Vertebrata (has vertebrae, or a backbone)
    • Class Aves (bird)
    • Order Passeriformes (perching bird)
    • Family Troglodytidae (from the Greek words for those who enter a cave or hole)
    • Genus Troglodytes (Troglodytes are reclusive mythical people who live in caves or holes.)
    • Species aedon (Aedon in Greek mythology was the Queen of Thebes, whom Zeus changed into a nightingale.)

  • The House Wren is about 12.7 cm (5 inches) long. Its wingspan is about 16.5 cm (6 -7 inches). It weighs 9.9 - 12 grams (1/3 - 1/2 ounce)--about the same as two nickels.
  • House Wrens eat almost only insects--the only other food items recorded are spiders, millipedes, snails, and other tiny invertebrates.
  • Male House Wrens build a stick nest in many crevices, cavities, and other nooks in their territory. When a female moves in, she selects the nest she wants, and lines it with soft materials.
  • House Wrens have been recorded nesting in:
    • woodpecker holes
    • bird houses
    • empty cow skulls
    • abandoned hornet nests
    • deserted swallow nests
    • fishing creels
    • watering pots
    • old hats
    • tin cans
    • teapots
    • flower pots
    • old boots
    • shoes
    • nozzle of a pump
    • iron pipe railing
    • weather vane
    • holes in a wall
    • axle of an automobile that was driven every day
  • House Wren eggs take 13-15 days to hatch. The nestlings remain in the nest for 15-17 days.
  • Considering their long migration and the fact that they weigh so little, House Wrens can live surprisingly long. One banded House Wren lived to be 9 years old.

Winter Wren
Photo by Jeff R. Wilson

Here are some interesting facts about Winter Wrens.

  • Classification:
    • Kingdom Animalia (animal, not plant)
    • Phylum Chordata (has a spinal cord)
    • Subphylum Vertebrata (has vertebrae, or a backbone)
    • Class Aves (bird)
    • Order Passeriformes (perching bird)
    • Family Troglodytidae (from the Greek words for those who enter a cave or hole)
    • Genus Troglodytes (Troglodytes are reclusive mythical people who live in caves or holes.)
    • Species troglodytes
  • Winter Wrens get their name because they are often found in the central and southern states during winter.
  • In England, the Winter Wren is so noticeable that people had a word for it, wrenna, before the year 1300. Since this is the only wren found in England, people there just call it the Wren.
  • The Winter Wren is about 10 cm (4 inches) long. Its wingspan is about 15 cm (6 inches). It weighs about 8.6 - 9.4 grams (less than 1/3 ounce)--about the same as a U.S. quarter and penny.
  • Winter Wrens eat almost only tiny invertebrates, and in fall juniper berries.
  • Male Winter Wrens build a stick nest in many crevices, cavities, and other nooks in their territory. When a female moves in, she selects the nest she wants, and lines it with soft materials.
  • Winter Wren eggs take about 14 days to hatch. The nestlings remain in the nest for 12-14 days.
  • The oldest known banded Winter Wren lived to be 4 years 1 month old.
  • Winter Wrens often walk on the forest floor like mice.
  • Winter Wrens have one of the most complex songs of any bird.

Carolina Wren
Photo by Jeff R. Wilson

Here are some interesting facts about Carolina Wrens.

  • Classification:
    • Kingdom Animalia (animal, not plant)
    • Phylum Chordata (has a spinal cord)
    • Subphylum Vertebrata (has vertebrae, or a backbone)
    • Class Aves (bird)
    • Order Passeriformes (perching bird)
    • Family Troglodytidae (from the Greek words for those who enter a cave or hole)
    • Genus Thryothorus (from Greek words for something that moves in reeds)
    • Species ludovicianus (from Latin meaning from Louisiana, where the first bird was named)
  • The Carolina Wren is about 13.3 - 15.2 cm (5 1/4 - 6 inches) long. Its wingspan is about 17.8 cm (7 inches). It weighs 14.2 - 19.7grams (1/2 - 2/3 ounce)--a little more than three quarters.
  • 94% of their diet is animal: mostly insects and spiders, but some Carolina Wrens have eaten lizards, frogs, and even a snake. Plant food includes seeds from bayberry, sweet gum, poison ivy, sumac, and other weeds.
  • Male Carolina Wrens build a stick nest in many crevices, cavities, and other nooks in their territory. When a female moves in, she selects the nest she wants, and lines it with soft materials.
  • Carolina Wrens have built nests in:
    • woodpecker holes
    • glove compartment of abandoned cars
    • garages
    • old shoes
    • bird houses
    • shelves
    • mailboxes
    • pockets of old coats
    • covers of propane tanks
    • tin cans
  • Carolina Wren eggs take 12 - 16 days to hatch. The nestlings remain in the nest for 12 - 14 days.
  • The oldest known banded Carolina Wren lived to be 6 years 2 months old.

 

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