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Carolina Wren Habits

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wrens, the state bird of SC, are southern birds that do not migrate. Yet, some younger birds travel northward for unknown reasons and set up residence. Currently its breeding range is a far north as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and southern New England.

As long as winters are mild, these young birds will build resident populations. If winter becomes severe resulting in food shortages, these birds will perish instead of moving south. This northward cycle would then be repeated over time.

A not so common fact about these birds is their ability to mimic the voices of other birds which they do occasionally. But its own voice of tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle, Chirrrrrr is well known by friends of this bird.


This bird measure 5 1/2 to 6 inches in length with warm brown upperparts and buff-tinged underparts.

Birdwatchers can look for a bold white eyebrow, white chin and no streaking on back. The white line eyebrow is helpful in correct identification. This separates it from the House Wren.

Mating Habits

Carolina Wrens may form pairs at anytime during the year. These pairs tend to stay together as long as both are alive. These pairs will be seen travelling together in throughout their territory.

Nesting Habits

Video of Carolina Wren Eating insects
The domed, cup-shaped nest with a side entrance, is made of twigs, grass, bark, and lined with fine materials. The give away is the side entrance which is very helpful in identifying the nest when no bird has been seen.

Where they Nest

Located anywhere from 1 - 10 feet above ground in almost anything including a tree cavity, propane tank lids, bbq's, man-made bird houses, hanging baskets, and other ornamental types of fixtures. Door wreaths are also common nesting sites.

The female lays 4 - 8 eggs that are creamy or pink-white with brown marks. Incubation is done by the female for 12 - 14 days and the young will leave the nest in 12 -14 days after hatching.

2 or 3 broods are raised each season. The breeding season runs from April to July.

For Northern populations,(zones 3-7) hanging a few roosting pockets in sheltered areas may help them survive cold nights.

Feeding Habits - What they Eat

These birds eat insects and small animals such as tree frogs. Also included in their diet is some fruits and seeds. These birds visit my feeders here in Kansas all winter long. They will eat sunflower heart chips, but I've also seen them eating safflower seed and especially suet.


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You Might Also Like: The House Wren Habits

Roosting Pockets

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Carolina and House Wrens nest in some funny and strange places. Do you have a story and picture about Wrens nesting around your home? Why not Share it With Our Visitors. Got pictures? We Love Pics - To share your story or read what others have said Click Here

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By Gene Planker