House Wren – Call | Diet | Eggs | Nest | Facts | Behavior

House Wren

The house wren, scientific name Troglodytes aedon is a really small songbird of the wren family, Troglodytidae. It happens from Canada to southernmost South America and is thus essentially the most extensively distributed bird within the Americas. In this article, I am going to talk about House Wren song, vs Carolina wren, call, eggs, vs winter wren, diet, etc.

House Wren profile

It happens in most suburban areas in its range and it’s the single commonest wren. Its taxonomy is very complicated and a few subspecies teams are sometimes thought of as separate species.

Geographic Range

House Wrens are native to the Nearctic area. During the breeding season, they stay from southern Canada to southern Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands.

They spend the winter in a narrower range; the southern limits of the United States, southwestern California east to Florida and south all through the Gulf Coast and Mexico.

House Wren Habitat

In the wild, house wrens stay in open, shrubby woodlands. However, they had been named for his or her choice for a small city and suburban backyards and human-made bird houses. Small wood-lots and forest edges are additionally frequent habitats for these birds.

Human farming and cities have created more good breeding habitat for the wren by breaking forests up into small chunks. This explains why house wrens have expanded their range and their inhabitants in North America has grown.

During the winter, wrens stay in thickets, shrubby and brushy areas, riparian forests, and savannas within the southern United States. In Mexico, they like tropical evergreen and semideciduous forests.


The oldest recognized house wren lived to be not less than 7 years old. It is troublesome to estimate the lifespan of those birds as a result of they don’t return to the identical space each year.

House Wren Description

Adults are 11 to 13 cm (4.3 to 5.1 in) long, with a 15 cm (5.9 in) wingspan, and weigh about 10 to 12 g (0.35 to 0.42 oz).

Among normal measurements, the wing chord is 4.7 to 5.3 cm (1.9 to 2.1 in), the tail is 3.9 to 4.4 cm (1.5 to 1.7 in), the culmen is 1.1 to 1.3 cm (0.43 to 0.51 in) and the tarsus is 1.6 to 1.8 cm (0.63 to 0.71 in).

The subspecies fluctuate drastically, with upperparts starting from uninteresting greyish-brown to wealthy rufescent-brown, and the underparts starting from brown, over buff and pale gray, to pure white.

All subspecies have blackish barring to the wings and tail, and a few additions to the flanks.

All subspecies present a faint eye-ring and eyebrow and have a long, skinny bill with a blackish higher mandible, and a black-tipped yellowish or pale gray decrease mandible.

The legs are pinkish or gray. The quick tail is often held cocked.

This bird’s wealthy bubbly track is usually heard throughout the nesting season however hardly ever afterward.

There is marked geographical variation within the track, although considerably more gradual than within the bird’s outward look that may strikingly differ, e.g., on neighboring islands within the Caribbean.

Birds from far north and south of the species’ range nonetheless have songs that differ markedly.

House Wren Ecology

In North America, the house wren is believed to attain the best density in floodplain forests within the western nice plains the place it makes use of woodpecker holes as nesting websites.

In South and Central America, it may be present in just about any habitat and is, as indicated by its frequent name, typically related to people. North American birds migrate to the southern United States and Mexico for winter.

Most return to the breeding grounds in late April to May and depart for winter quarters once more around September to early October. These birds forage actively in vegetation.

They primarily eat insects similar to butterfly larvae, additionally spiders, and snails. Southern house wrens hardly ever attend mixed-species feeding flocks.

House Wren

House Wren Communication and Perception

House wrens are extensively recognized for their songs. While each sex produces calls and songs, the males’ songs are more complicated. Altogether, 130 totally different track types are recognized from house wrens.

Unmated males can sing for as much as 10 minutes. Males with a mate typically sing a “whispering song”, which could be very quiet, and is simply sung across the time of copulation.

The goal of the quiet track could also be to keep away from revealing the situation of his fertile mate to different males. The feminine sings throughout the first days of pairing when she responds to her mate’s track.

House wrens additionally communicate utilizing body language. If a predator approaches, males crouch and drop their wings, increase their back feathers, and decrease their fanned-out tail.

House Wren Reproduction

The nesting habits don’t appear to vary considerably between the northern and southern house wrens not less than. They often assemble a big cup nest in numerous types of cavities, taking a couple of weeks to construct.

The nest is created from small dry sticks and is often linked with a wide range of totally different supplies. These include feathers, hair, wool, spider cocoons, strips of bark, rootlets, moss, and trash.

The male wren finds dry sticks, which he provides to the nest. Once he’s executed, the feminine inspects the nest; but when she doesn’t approve of the development, she’s going to throw any undesirable sticks to the bottom.

After this process, the feminine strains the nest. Nest cavities are often just a few meters above the floor at most, however sometimes on cliffs as excessive up as 15 m (49 ft) and more not less than in southern populations; they might be natural or man-made, typically utilizing bird houses.

House wrens are feisty and pugnacious animals contemplating their tiny size. They are recognized to often destroy the eggs of different birds nesting in their territory by puncturing the eggshell.

Females that sang more songs to conspecifics that had been stimulated by playback misplaced fewer eggs to ovicide by different wrens.

Female bird track on this species is due to this fact thought to have a operate in competitors and isn’t solely displayed by males.

They are additionally recognized to refill different birds’ nests inside its territory with sticks to make them unusable.

House Wren Eggs

Depending on the precise inhabitants, the house wrens’ clutch is often between two and eight red-blotched cream-white eggs, weighing about 1.4 g (0.05 oz) every and measuring c.17 and 13.4 mm (0.67 and 0.53 in) on the widest factors.

Only the feminine incubates these, for round 12–19 days, and she’s going to now and again depart the nest for numerous causes. While she is on the nest, the male provisions her with meals.

The younger, which like all passerines hatch nearly bare and helpless, take one other 15–19 days or so to fledge. They are being fed by each dad and mom, and need loads of meals given their tiny size.

House Wren Young

As the younger close to fledging, the dad and mom spend a lot of their time procuring meals for them. Brood loss on account of predation was discovered to be light within the Southern Andean Yungas, with predation of nestling younger being nearly insignificant.

Known predators of house wrens on the nest embrace cats, rats, opossums, woodpeckers, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, snakes, and owls. Adults away from the nests can often keep away from these predators through each small hawks and owls sometimes take free-flying grownup wrens.

House Wren Migration

Migrant populations are nesting inside 6 weeks of getting back from winter quarters, leaving theoretically time for a second brood.

In the subtropical montane forest of northwestern Argentina and comparable habitat, the southern house wren breeds within the wet summer months from late October to late December.

In Washington, D.C. space, house wren dad and mom made considerably more feeding journeys per hour in suburban backyards in comparison with rural backyards. Yet rural nestlings grew at a quicker fee than their suburban counterparts.

In addition, suburban dad and mom spent much less time brooding (sitting on the nest) in comparison with rural dad and mom.

Such outcomes counsel that suburban yard habitats provide house wrens meals for nestlings that are inferior in both high quality or amount to what rural habitats provide.

Food objects could, for instance, be smaller in suburban habitats, and power adults to make more journeys to the field.

In South Temperate Argentina, southern house wrens dispersed more regularly between-seasons than inside a season, with females dispersing more typically than males.

Widowed and single males dispersed more regularly than paired males, while within-season divorce elevated the breeding success of females however not males.


The house wren could have been displaced considerably in some northern elements of its range by the introduction of the home sparrow, however remains to be frequent and widespread all through many of the Americas.

It shouldn’t be thought of threatened by the IUCN, although this would definitely not maintain true for a number of of the island inhabitants in the event that they transform true species.

Other Recommended Reading

House Wren Facts

  1. The House Wren has one of many largest ranges of any songbird within the New World. It breeds from Canada via the West Indies and Central America, southward to the southernmost level of South America.
  2. House Wren’s nest inside tree holes and nest packing containers. As the season progresses their nests can develop infested with mites and different parasites that feed on the wren nestlings. Perhaps to struggle with this downside, wrens typically add spider egg sacs into the supplies they construct their nests from. In lab research, as soon as the spiders hatched, they helped the wrens by devouring the nest parasites.
  3. A House Wren weighs about as a lot as two quarters, however, it’s a fierce competitor for nest holes. Wrens will harass and peck at a lot bigger birds, generally dragging eggs and younger ones out of a nest site they need – even sometimes killing grownup birds. In some areas, they’re the primary source of nest failure for bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Prothonotary Warblers, and chickadees.
  4. For House Wren eggs, the temperature contained in the nest field might be important to survival. If a sun-drenched nest field warms above about 106 levels Fahrenheit for an hour, the eggs will start to die. If a chilly snap chills a nest under about 65 levels Fahrenheit for more than a day it could actually additionally doom the eggs.
  5. Male House Wrens returning north to breed of their first year are more prone to settle near a longtime male than farther from it. Experienced males are inclined to settle farther aside. Young males could take clues from more skilled males about what areas are good nesting sites.
  6. The oldest recorded House Wren was not less than 9 years old when it was recaptured and rereleased throughout banding operations in New York in 1993, the identical state the place it had been banded.


As with many birds, your ears can assist lead you to House Wren sightings. Start within the right habitat: backyards, parks, or open woods, then hear.

The track might be exhausting to study at first as a result of the notes are nondescript and variable, and since there’s merely a lot of it—so loud and insistent—that it’s exhausting to imagine such a small bird is making it. Learn more about the chickens not laying laggs.

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