Five weeks ago Mr. Wren arrived from his winter vacation on the coast of Texas. A week later Mrs. Wren arrived and quickly picked a house in the yard and moved in and started sitting on eggs. Two weeks later the young hatched and she started to feed the babies while the male sat in a tree singing.
Two weeks after they hatched, on Saturday, I could see them looking out and fighting for position at the door. As the day progressed they became braver and would hang out the door farther.
Mom would land on the roof and make them reach out and up to get the food and they would be almost all the way out hanging on by their toes to stay in the house.
8:30AM: Sunday morning I looked out into the back yard and I could see something on the ground, 1 baby was hopping toward the trunk of the tree the house was in. I quickly went out and picked him up and put him in a fork of the tree.
Mom started to feed him in the tree, which is how she gets them to take the plunge; she won’t feed them until they come to her.
10:00AM: 2 more were on the ground so I put them in the tree, but one wouldn’t stay and fluttered 10 feet away to the honeysuckle bush.
Now mom had 1 in the honeysuckle and 2 in the oak tree to keep up with. Three out and who knew how many to go. There can be 6-9 in a hatch.
11:00AM: there were 2 more on the ground. One was going around and around the tree and the other was sitting in the grass. I went out to the yard one more time, picked up the one in the grass and put him in the tree. The other one began to hop up the side of the tree so I left him to make his own way.
Now mom had 5 to keep up with, the 1 in the honeysuckle had managed to get back to the tree so they were all together, just above the only home they had known.
The last ones in the house were a little hesitant and would only peek out the door for the next hour. Then around noon one started to hang out looking for mom, yelling loudly when she came into the tree, but she just ignored him.
1:00PM: I went out to search the yard because the other birds in the yard were having a fit. I was afraid one of the nasty cats that live around us was loose. I walked all over the yard and found 1 baby in the flower bed. He was not hard to catch and I put him in the tree. Now mom had 6 in the tree.
2:00PM: I could still see at least two faces at the door to the house and thought there might be one more. Later I looked out and there were no faces in the door so I went out to check the yard again.
2:30 PM: I found 3 of them running up and down the flower bed by the house. The first two were easy to catch and put into the tree. Now mom had 8 in the tree.
The last one wanted no part of me and the chase was on. I ran him up and down the flower bed twice trying to grab him. He finally stopped at the south end by the down spout. I thought I had him but he made a right turn and hopped past the back door and quickly under the slightly open garage door and under the car.
I grabbed the broom, to direct him back outside, but he scurried under the other car. When I went over there he moved back to the first car and then over to the east wall of the garage.
He hopped along the wall, behind 3 cases of pop, a small cooler, and then behind three bags of mulch. Then he made a U turn and went back the way he had come. When he passed between the cooler and the pop, I made a grab for him but only caught his ¼ inch tail. He yelled loudly and managed to get loose.
He made another U turn, hopped to the front of the garage, then turned left, crossing in front of the step into the house. He hopped behind two large containers of golf balls, the buckets used to wash the cars, ending up behind the freezer.
With a nudge of the broom he finally came out from behind the freezer. He then made a run for it; hopping in front of the bucket instead of behind it and I made another grab. I missed and he continued back to the east wall.
I found him between the cooler and the pop. I turned them to block him so he couldn’t move; finally I had wrangled him into a spot I could catch him.
I quickly grabbed him and carried him outside and put him in the tree, but he was still being independent, jumping and landing beside the tree. I watched him as he started to hop up the side of the tree using his little wings for lift. He was determined to do it his way.
2:45 PM: Now mom had all 9 in the same tree, clustered in groups of three. I’m sure the last one had a real tale to tell the others about the monster that chased him and tried to pull his tail off, then grabbed him and carried him to the tree.
I help baby wrens every year, but the wren wrangler has never had so much trouble trying to keep them safe (from the cats) as I did this year because of the little independent one. To contact Sandy: [email protected]