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Thursday, August 18, 2011

House Wrens Courtship?

I love the little house wrens. Some people say they don't want them near their houses because they are so loud. They are loud, but I don't care. I'm always happy when one shows up. I say "one," because the male arrives first and builds a nest. Then he begins to sing and twitter his fool head off trying to attract a female and convince her that he's built a nice nest.

I've been hearing one off and on all week. Today, he and his fiance gave me quite a show. The only issue is that I had to take the pictures through a dirty window and a screen, so they may look a bit hazy.

house wrens

Mr. Wren is on the right, and he was chasing Miss W around and around the corner post of the deck. I need to tell you that I'm not absolutely sure this was a courtship "thing," but I don't know what else it would be.

house wrens

Miss Wren was being coy. She spent a lot of time hunkering down on the far side of the post and fluffing her feathers. The position she most often took was the one shown below, which I found very odd. I was lucky enough to get one picture of it.

house wrens

She would flatten herself out against the railing, and lay that one wing over the edge. This was actually the behavior that first attracted me. I thought maybe she was hurt, but later she proved that she was fine.

Every so often she would spread her wings and tail. See how her tail is forced downward? Wren tails are naturally pert and have an upward tilt, so she's doing that on purpose.

house wrens

They gave me several minutes of entertainment, and then with a great deal of twittering they flew off together. Some other years, there has been a nest under the deck, but I haven't heard enough noise nearby to indicate that this year, I don't think. I'll have to try to find their nest of choice. That is, if Miss W. approves and agrees to become Mrs. W.


rainfield61 said...

I am glad to have this neighbor too.

The sparrows always give me wake-up songs in the morning.

Unknown said...

Please for Christ sake help this poor boy from Haiti

john bain said...

She is definitely flirting.

Glynis Peters said...

How lovely. We have little Wrens here and I love when they arrive. Their twitters are sweet.

betchai said...

they're cute, music to the ears,did not know the female can be a flirt :)

vanilla said...

Windows, screen and all, there is no need for apology for those pictures. They're great!

Ratty said...

Seeing this is the kind of special experience that I love nature the most for.

Ann said...

Those are really great. That had to have been a thrill to watch them. Mrs. W is certainly putting on quite a show

Sharkbytes said...

rainfield- sparrows are sweet, but you will know you've been serenaded if you hear a wren. You would not believe the level of noise that can come out of such a little bird.

John- she's being quite coy, but showing off those pretty feathers.

Glynis- I'm glad you have wrens too!

betchai- this is the first time I've seen any of this behavior, but when they do it right outside my office window... well...

vanilla- for once birds on the deck rail were too self-occupied to notice me with the camera

Ratty- I wish they were nesting close again, but I think they are in the orchard somewhere

Ann- and she really had the boyfriend's attention- they went round and round that post quite a few times!

RNSANE said...

What fun, observing their courtship. Have you ever seen the grand finale, with the eggs and then the baby birds?

Sharkbytes said...

Carmen- not this year, I can't find the nest. A few years ago I got pictures of the babies taking their first flights.

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