Parents removing items

by Tracy
(Leavenworth, KS)

This is a very interesting image. I sat on the deck for a few hours watching both parents feeding the chicks.

House Wren Removing Something From Nest

However, this picture caught me by surprise.

Instead of feeding the babies, she was actually removing something.
Wren Removing Fecal Sac From Birdhouse

I saw this 3 times in the few hours I was watching them. Anybody know what she might be removing?

It doesn't look like an egg shell.

I also noticed, around the time I was taking this picture, that I was getting scolded by one of the parents.

Apparently they didn't like me taking so many pictures.

I know I was being scolded because she did the same chirping a few other times while I was about 5 feet away painting my deck.

When you're around the same family for several weeks, and seeing them so often, you get to know the sounds.

I just hope I get to see them fly off. Which leads me to another question.

Once the young fly out of the nest, do they ever return for any reason (other than maybe to return next year for another nesting)?

Hi Tracy,

The Wren is removing the fecal sac from the young. Their waste is contained in a gelatin like sac.

Many of our backyard birds deal with the waste in this manner.

It keeps the nest cleaner but more importantly, it keeps the odors down which would attract predators.

The young House Wrens will not return to the nest site after fledging.


Comments for Parents removing items

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Wrens fighting
by: Bea

My husband and I have watched the wrens for many years.

It is fun watching when the male starts bringing twigs etc. to the house and many of them are too long and he has to struggle until he gets that twig in the house.

When the female approves of the nest and the nesting starts they seem very cordial toward each other.

But, this year they have been fighting with each other as they bring insects to the house to feed the baby birds.

They dive bomb each other like they are competing with who is going to get to the house first with their catch. Is this normal?

We have never seen this happen in previous years.

We hope you will have an explanation for this behavior. Thank you.

wren clean nest
by: Anonymous

I have a camera in my bird house. when a mother wren feeds her baby, the baby takes the food, then turns around and poops.

It is a little white sac, the mother wren puts it in her beck and flies a short ways and drops, that way the nest stays clean.

I see all this on my tv, that sees the inside of the nest with the camera.

Parents removing items
by: Bill Q

I have also seen this happen.

From the nest in my backyard the parents are removing something white, looks like a small piece of bread from a distance.

Thought it might be related to the spiders they like to have in their nests?

My experience with fledglings
by: NjRach

I was fortunate enough to watch a female Wren raise her brood on my back porch in a decorative tin birdhouse.

I did a lot of reading during this time because I wasn't accustomed to bird watching. I LOVED IT!

I did happen across an article that stated mama bird was removing the fecal matter of the babies.

It was amazing to watch how she tirelessly brought food back and forth, and removed the waste nonstop all day.

Her and the fledglings left the nest about two weeks ago and I have not seen them return at all.

I'm trying to get my thoughts together to submit the story of mama bird and the babes with pictures.

fledgling return
by: Anonymous

Our house wren babies fledged yesterday morning (Thursday).

We had six and were fortunate to see the whole process...amazing.

This evening (Friday) several of the fledglings came back to the tree.

We saw a fledgling go into the birdhouse, stayed momentarily and then left again. This happened a few times.

There is no way of knowing if it was the same bird or different birds.

Returning Nestlings
by: Gene

Sorry I wasn't clear. I was referring to her House Wren. House Wrens do not return to bird houses after fledging.

I Disagree
by: Jody

I disagree about wrens never returning to their nest after leaving.

An entire wren family--parents and five babies--continued to return to their hanging planter nest under my patio off and on for about a month.

It was amusing to watch the babies as they learned to fly back into the nest with their skill improving each time they returned.

By dark, when all babies were safe and secure, the parents would fly off leaving them for the night.

Return after fledge
by: Randall

I watched 4 fledglings leave the nest, the fifth was reluctant till a parent returned an hour later and persuaded a late fledge.

Later that day a parent and juvenile returned and started removing sticks and feathers, then spent the day refilling the nest.

Prepping for second nesting or showing youngster a skill?

What The Wren Is Removing
by: Gene

Hi Tracy,

The Wren is removing the fecal sac from the young. Their waste is contained in a gelatin like sac.

Many of our backyard birds deal with the waste in this manner.

It keeps the nest cleaner but more importantly it keeps the odors down which would attract predators.

The young will not return to the nest box after fledging.


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