Henry the House Wren
by Jenene Heyer
Henry's favorite perch.
At the end of June I noticed a jaunty little bird who sang his heart out from sunrise to sunset. He was so very tiny and that was what caught my attention- trying to figure out what he was.
He liked darting in and out of our wisteria vine under a pergola over part of our deck and voila! He noticed a little terracotta bird house I had hung as a decoration never thinking any bird would ever discover it- let alone occupy it.
I soon noticed tiny twigs poking out of the entrance and between songs Henry would labor intensely over his new home. He seemed to be a bachelor until one day he brought the Mrs.
They became part of our landscape singing and working over their nest. I became very attached to the little couple. It wasn't until my bird loving sister visited one day and told me he was a House Wren.
He sat on his favorite perch and gave her a show.
After reading about the House Wren's habits I gained a new understanding and appreciation for this tiny bird.
We went away on vacation for about ten days and upon returning it seemed as if the nest was abandoned. I did not hear the familiar song and saw no activity around the nest. I was heart broken.
I climbed up and peeked in the house to see if there was anything in the tiny clay house and the nest was built in such a way it was tipped and you could not see in it.
Not wanting to disturb it- just in case- I left it alone. A few hours later I heard him. Singing away and relieving my fears of sudden and total abandonment.
The next day my son said he heard baby birds squawking. I explained to him that I was pretty sure the nest was still empty but as the day went on the sounds got stronger. There were babies! I was so happy that Henry and his mate were successful with what was most likely brood number two of the season.
They seem to be happy where they are with the exception of the occasional scolding our poor elderly Labrador, Flynn, as he makes his way off the deck into the yard.
So I know they will not be around much longer as the summer wears on. Henry's song has been mostly replaced by the constant cries of the hungry brood. I hope after a clean out in the fall they will find their way back next spring to the tiny terracotta house under the vines!