Archive for August, 2012

Ready to Fledge

Well, just about ready. In this fairly non-scientific estimation (not actually counting days since hatching, nor counting pin feathers), I think these 4 little Carolina Wren chicks nesting on our back porch garden shelf are about ready to leave the nest.

This is the second time wrens have built a nest here on our porch. They seem to have become desensitized to the opening and closing of our screen door. A clutch of chicks fledged in 2010; they took last summer off (started a nest and then abandoned it), and they’re back. Curious to know if it’s the same pair.

Some interesting bits about Carolina Wrens from the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior:

  • Most wren species are monogamous. They defend all-purpose territories, and they usually pair for life.
  • Male Carolina Wrens sing an individual song over and over, in bouts of anywhere from five to 250 repetitions, before switching to another. (I can attest to that.) They average about 32 songs per male, which is not quite as many as the Marsh Wren who clocks in around 50 songs.
  • Winter and Carolina Wrens are perhaps the most catholic of wrens in their nesting preferences, placing their cup nests in crevices, low vegetation, or even on the ground [or on porch shelves].
  • Wrens in N. America lay an average of 4 to 6 eggs (subelliptical to oval; white, cream, or pink with brownish mottling); the female incubates the eggs from 12 to 15 days.
  • The altricial young have natal down when they hatch, primarily on the head and back. They are usually fed by both parents until feldging, which occurs at 10 – 17 days in the small-bodied species… Both parents continue to feed the young for about two weeks  after fledging, unless the female begins another clutch, in which case the male often takes sole responsibility for the brood.

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