Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Roost for a Wren

I love wrens. They are such cool little birds. Loud, friendly, excited about life.  We almost always have a pair of Carolina Wrens around our house. The other day, I was sitting out on the porch reading email on my phone and not moving, when a winter wren flew in and landed on the steps no more than about six feet from me.  They are even smaller than a Carolina Wren and just as cute. I had never seen one around here before.

Anyway, we do what we can to encourage them to hang around.  A few years ago, I took an old hanging basket and constructed a winter roost for them. I took one of those semi-disposable plastic containers you can buy in a grocery store and cut a opening in the side.  I put some sand in the bottom of the hanging basket to raise it up a little and to give it some insulating ability, stuffed some sphagnum moss around the inside of the plastic hut and put leaves around the outside of it, again as insulation.  We have kept it up there for several winters now.

I hung it on the eyelet closest to the back wall of the porch where the previous owner had a porch swing.  It is right in the corner so there are walls on two sides.  I also faced the opening of the roost toward the house so it was out of the wind.  Every evening, well before dark, a pair of wrens fly in and use it overnight.  They must not be able to see very well in low light because it is always still light when they arrive.  (Cardinals, on the other hand, must be able to see quite well in low light because they will often be on the feeder right up until dark.) I have even seen the wrens fly in and roost in the middle of the day occasionally.

It is nice to know you can do little things like that to encourage them to stick around. They never fail to lift my spirits when I see these little joyful birds.

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