Gas Lamp Wren Brood

by Glenda
(Colbert, GA)

Right off the corner of our deck is an old gas lamp - the kind many have by their driveways. This one has not been used in years - it is not even hooked up.


One of the panes of glass is missing. A few weeks ago, my husband and I noticed a pile of twigs, etc., in the lamp.

Next we noticed a couple of Carolina wrens hanging out.

It was fascinating to watch them sing - they quivered all the way to the tips of their tails. And LOUD - I would never have believed such a small bird could sing so loudly!

Then we saw them start to go in and out of the lamp - the pile of twigs was a nest!

Over the next couple of weeks, we'd see them appear to change shifts - in the early morning, and in the evening. One would fly in, and the other would fly out.

Almost two weeks ago, we started seeing them fly in and out almost constantly with food in their mouths. They'd hop from the picnic table nearby, to an old lawn mower handle, then to the rail of our deck, then from post to post and finally into the nest.

It has been a fascinating process, watching the two tiny parents feed three tiny mouths - listening to the parents talk and sing, and to the babies squeak.

Today they spread their wings (in a manner of speaking). Of course, I was not there. But my husband said one of the wrens came and sat on the rail of the deck near him, and sang and sang at the top of its’ lungs.

My husband felt he knew what the wren was saying to him. Then the babies started chirping. Next, one at a time, they kind of fell out of the lamp – the first one managed to flap his wings, and land in a hardy hibiscus next to the lamp – a couple of feet off the ground.

The other one fell out, and managed to land softly – it didn’t fly quite as well. The parents had moved on to a wood pile nearby.

The babies managed to flap their wings, and “fly” from one branch to another and get close to where the parents were.

Later, after we talked, and I reminded him there were three – he looked in the nest, and could see one more mouth.

A few minutes later, the last little wren in the nest almost fell to the outside bottom of the nest, caught itself, and then “jumped”.

It managed to land softly, and then started trying to fly. My husband had to leave for a while, but when he came back, all the wrens were gone.

And I missed it!

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Jul 13, 2009
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Precious Time
by: Dianna

This was a wonderful story. I was so tickled to read the story of the wren's in the gas lamp and visualize the two of you enjoying the beautiful experience. The world is difficult but it's the simple things in life that mean so much and prove to be enjoyable. This story brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jul 11, 2009
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Fledgling
by: Beverly

This is such a sweet story, my fledgling is about to leave, too!(OK, it's really the secret word below is her college!)

Jul 08, 2009
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Sorry you missed it
by: Bonnie

Aww Glenda, how sweet that the wrens used the old gas lamp for a nesting site. I'm sorry you missed the babies leaving the nest, but from your description, your husband did a great job telling about it. I can almost picture them myself.

We had Carolina wrens nest in an old milk crate, the hard plastic kind, that had a few odds and ends in it, sitting on a table on our carport here in Arkansas. It was right next to our kitchen entry door, and the wren parents fussed at us a lot for coming and going. We changed to using the front door to make them happier LOL

I was able to see Mama or Papa Wren luring one of the babies from the nest. The fledgling fluttered up out of the crate and landed on the brick of the utility house, then crabbed sideways in hops, clinging to the brick, until it reached the parent, then they flew off!

I don't know how cold it gets in winter where you are, but I read that these are not migratory birds. Without proper shelter and extra feeding of suet in winter, they'll die. I got a "convertible" nest box/winter roost that several wrens can stay in and share body heat so the little things won't freeze.

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