House Wrens

organic_bassetlvrJune 12, 2008

If house wrens have not bothered blues, is there any reason to stop them from nesting? I am lucky enough to have 3 acres-most in cedar thickets-which is where the house wrens nest. In the small amount of grassy field I have are 3 BB houses( 1 is occupied by Tree Swallows) These 3 houses have been sucessfully used for years with no wren probs. There are 2 other boxes used by wrens. I don't know if I'm just lucky or what but have always let the wrens have the 2 boxes in the thicket & the blues & trees sort out who gets the others. All the houses are on poles & baffled. I don't have House Sparrows-thank heavens!I enjoy the wrens bubbling song & would use wren guards if needed but don't feel pulling out their sticks is necessary in my case-what do the experts think? By the way I have learned alot from this forum about baffling & so forth. Thanks for all the good advice.

Susan

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crcst

Trust me, it is just a matter of time before you witness the destruction from house wrens.I will not let them nest in my boxes as I have had too much heartache from them.Just hearing them is like fingernails on a chalk board.If you want to keep your other song birds safe,do not let them nest.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:04PM
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janie_may

From what I've read here over the years, DITTO to what Jane said..... it's just a matter of time.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:40PM
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bluebars

You might have trouble with house wrens and not even know it. Although TRES are more agressive/protective against HOWR, bluebirds, chickadees and others are more vulnerable. Little sticks is a sure sign of their activity, but their other tricks often go unnoticed by humans. They are stealthy, silent, and quick-as-a-wink to enter another bird's nest, remove eggs or pierce them, or toss young out to perish on the ground. You might never see evidence, as ants devour the innocent young, and eggs are often dropped a good distance away. Even unhatched eggs could be due to wren damage (as I have 3 cracked eggs in a bluebird nest right now; not pierced, but certainly dented, only 1 actually went missing).
Also, HOWR do NOT always stay in their own territory. And as the population increases, so does their territory. They will be happy to nest in open and suburban areas.
You can learn more about HOWR at Bet's web site below.
BlueBars

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.sialis.org/wrens.htm

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:48AM
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organic_bassetlvr

Okay,
I understand this is the Bluebird forum but House Wrens are also native songbirds (and have a lovely song!)and are protected by the same laws as all other native species. My wrens don't arrive until after the first nesting of blues & chickadees-I've never had Titmice nest but I think they are early also. I monitor my nests every day or every other day until close to fledge time & keep records. I have not used wren guards for the blues second nesting, thinking it was not necessary but if wrens have been sneaking in I can certainly use guards. Right now I have second nestings in 2 houses (blues) & so far all eggs look fine-4 & 3 eggs respectively. The other house is being inspected by Trees (again) but no nest yet. The wrens are nesting in 2 boxes in the cedar thicket & I hear them often but have not heard or seen them anywhere close to the "field" houses. I am not trying to be hard to get along with but am truly trying to understand why wrens, who are only trying to perpetuate their own kind like all other living creatures, are so despised.
Respectfully,
Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:23AM
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chickadeedeedee

Enjoy your little wrens. In spite of what some may think there is no law that says they must be eliminated from the face of the Earth. They too need a safe haven where their nests / eggs / chicks are not destroyed by ~whatever~ species of predator. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:30AM
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bluebars

House Wrens are native, and are protected. It is your choice to discourage them or not.
But they sure can be little buggers when they steal eggs and kill the young of other birds! That's what we find "hard to get along with."
BlueBars

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:33AM
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bluebars

And nobody here has said they need to be "eliminated from the face of the Earth" or "destroyed" so go back and read it again.
BlueBars

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:35AM
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organic_bassetlvr

Bluebars,
I did reread Sialis re: wrens but am unclear on the part about them nesting "naturally" Does this mean they nest in places other than cavities? Like Carolina's do? If so I could take down the boxes in the thickets although in the winter flying squirrels use them & sometimes white-footed (feet?) mice. Anyhoo, still trying to strike a happy balance here.

Chickadee-squared! Thank you! I enjoy watching all birds including hawks & blue Jays who sometimes take songbirds. Circle of life, don't ya know! I try to keep my place a haven for all wildlife & native plants. Still battling privet, Japanese honeysuckle & Oriental bittersweet.
Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:55AM
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bluebars

Gee, I don't know about your question on the Sialis web site. Perhaps you could email Bet, and she could explain what is meant by nesting "naturally." You can click on a "Contact Me" at the bottom of her web pages.
Or maybe she will pick up this thread and comment.
BlueBars

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:03AM
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organic_bassetlvr

Bluebars,
I emailed Bet about this part of the sialis info: Although they will learn to use nestboxes, unlike bluebirds, House Wrens can utilize natural nesting sites in trees and bushes. Therefore, some people choose not to encourage their use of bluebird nestboxes.
I asked her to stop in here if she has time.
Thanks for the tip,
Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:02AM
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mulchmamma

Before I knew what a threat HOWRs were, I actually enjoyed having them around. Feisty, sweet sounding little birds. Now that I am trying to attract the cavity nesters and know the lengths HOWRs will go to propagate at the expense of the blues, dees, TRES and TUTIs, they are not allowed to nest in any of my boxes. All wren houses have been taken down.

Plenty of wooded and vegetative habitat should they chose to use it-just not my boxes. It's not a coincidence that I have been noticing the Carolinas and the dees. Previous presence of HOWRs had prevented that.

Linda

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:42PM
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bet_from_ct

YES, House Wrens are native and eat lots of bugs and some folks love them. If you encourage them to nest in your boxesm I predict you will come to regret it in time as they move further and further away from brush and wreak havoc on the nests of other birds (including some like phoebes)even when they don't use the box.

But here is another perspective: http://www.sialis.org/howrazevdeo.htmhttp://www.sialis.org/howrazevdeo.htm

I didn't receive your email, I don't check the garden web one (sorry) - best way to reach me is via ebluebird "at" charter.net (replace "at" with @)

House wrens will nest naturally in preformed tree cavities, especially old woodpecker holes, and in a variety of other crevices or cavitiesÂe.g., in fish creels, old boots, or crania of cow skulls hung on walls.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:55PM
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organic_bassetlvr

Bet,
Thanks for the response as the email had some kinda error & was returned. Okay, obviously I've just been lucky so far. If I take down the boxes in the thicket (woods) & put wren guards on the BB houses in the fields, remove "dummy" nests-is there anything else? I didn't actually encourage them in the first place, these boxes used to be in a grassy area but I let it grow up for a more woodland habitat. Also the CA Chickadees use one of the boxes in the thicket & this year sucessfully fledged 5 young!The dees fledged before the HOWR arrived. I would like to return the boxes in the fall for the flying squirrels & sometimes the downy's roost in them.
Unlike the Carolina's who will come right up on the porch, the HOWR seems to stay down the hill in the cedar thickets-of course the Carolina's are year round residents & the HOWR aren't so maybe that's the difference.
Thanks for everyone's sage advice & hopefully "my" wrens will not take revenge when I remove their boxes. (after they fledge this batch)
Susan

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 3:01PM
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lisa11310

The HOWR here are pretty well behaved, however we have miles and miles of woodlands and thousands of Woodpecker holes. The only time I ever had problems was when they were logging the next property over. I lost a clutch of BB eggs and had a box full of sticks. I still put Wren guards up, I can hear them but I never (knock wood) see them. I dont think they like me anymore than I like them! LOL They are welcome to my property if they stay where they belong but NEVER in one of my nestboxes.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:37PM
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