What’s in my front yard? A Carolina Wren Family



A couple of weeks ago, we were working in the yard and I moved a trellis that was resting near a wire shelf and bumped the bottom of the shelf.  A startled bird flew out of the old mail box.  I had earlier spotted what I thought was an abandoned nest in it from last year, but did not give it another thought until the bird swooped past me.  I surmised then that she might have eggs, and have been careful to avoid the area since.


I watched one evening as two birds alternated flying in and out of the nest with bugs in their beaks–each with its own dance routine as it hopped from spot to spot, vigilantly surveying the surroundings before heading in to the mail box nest.  Monday afternoon, I was able to use my long-range zoom lens to capture a few photographs without intruding.  This guy is the male Carolina Wren.  I have long heard them singing their distinctive tunes, and due to the sound it makes, we have always called them the “Jimmy-Jimmy” bird.Carolina wren

I used the Cornell Lab Merlin app to identify the bird, and comparing the sounds, was able to give a proper name to the family, although I will still hear jimmy-jimmy-jimmy when I go outside.

baby bird heads

By zooming in on the photo and increasing the exposure, I was barely able to make out little bird heads and their still-yellow beaks.  baby bird heads

parent 2

As I sat observing their co-parenting ritual, I also began to notice the conversations ensuing from one tree to another, and realized it was a language.  Although using similar sounds and patterns, they were definitely carrying on a conversation, because the number of times a sound was repeated, and the variations in the answer, were different enough for me to catch it.  I wished I had Ensign Hoshi Sata from Star Trek Enterprise, and her communicator device, to interpret for me.  I know she could have figured it out (she is a linguist, aided by a tech device) because she learned Insectoid, a language of clicks.  Warbled notes should be a piece of cake for her.


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17 Responses to What’s in my front yard? A Carolina Wren Family

  1. Beth says:

    How sweet! It’s interesting how they communicate; I agree you need a decoder. I always enjoyed hearing the “bob-whites” call to each other when I visited Mississippi relatives.


  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    Love this post. Must say Wrens are my favorite birds. We have the House Wren here in Arkansas. We are always amazed at where the Wrens make their nests. Last year I had a pair nest in my big garden pot of lettuce. I did not harvest the lettuce and let them have their nesting spot. I listen to the Wrens talking to each other – love everything about these little birds. There is a pair of Wrens that go into my husband’s large shop each year and either nest in there or they eat the freshly killed bugs my husbands lays on the window sill for them. They do not seem to be afraid of us at all.


  3. janebye says:

    Oh, I love this! Beautiful pictures! New baby birds always make me think of renewal and hope and beginnings, things we need right now!

    PS We used similar titles for our posts on the same day. LOL


    • Suzassippi says:

      Well, yes, Jane, I was answering your question when you asked “what’s in your front yard?” Did you think I came up with that on my own? 🙂

      I do love the fact that in spite of human mistakes and errors, the rest of the animal world goes right on doing what they are born to do; that is, until we manage to kill off all their habitats and life source…you know, kind of like we do our own. But yes, it is necessary, renewal, hope and beginnings. Thanks for the uplifts!


      • janebye says:

        LOL Well, I didn’t want to assume anything! 🙂 Funny!

        I’ve seen several articles and photos of nature regenerating during this time when humans are stuck at home. Maybe the universe wanted a re-set.


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