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Little Bird, Loud Song
June 12, 2017

(Robin nest in front yard.)

This is a week early, however I remembered this time.

A tip of the hat, kudos, a pat on the back, a man hug and a Big Thank You to all of the Fathers out there.

More than ever, this also means single moms, aunts, sisters, teachers, uncles, grand parents, brothers, and all who helped and are helping raise a child.

A fist pump, man hug, a job well done, from me to you.

Again I say thank you.

We're having a 'heat wave'.

That is what one of the local meteorologists say we are officially in.

Three or more days 90 and above constitutes a heatwave in Michigan.

And we still need rain.

Needless to say, certain tasks are on ignore, or get done, when they get done.

All is well around here right now, We thank our God for this.

Let's get down to business, I can get long winded :-)

The small bird with the loud song.


House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

A tiny brown bird 4 to 5 inches long with a short tail, often cocked up.

Yes, a Small Bird with a Loud Song is native to most of North America, extending territories into Southern Canada.

From sun up to sun down, day after day, after day, this small bird goes on and on.

As soon as the male appears on the breeding ground his arrival is announced by the territory song.

The male isolates himself and establishes himself in a definite area.

Territory is established and defended chiefly by song.

The "territory song" of the House wren is but little different from the "nesting song," and both songs announce to other birds that the territory is occupied.

Small Bird, Loud Song.

The male will give his territory song over and over again, day after day, in a purely mechanical manner until a female comes into view.

Not until then does he show emotional excitement.

Competition between two males in adjoining territories becomes most vigorous when an unattached female enters the area.

The male whose song is most stimulating to her ears would seem to have the advantage.


With the arrival of the female, serious courtship begins.

There is an extensive repertoire of songs and call notes, which are used for various occasions and for purposes of intercommunication.

Small Bird, Loud Song.

Both males and females have
a habit of quivering their wings when excited, which is most pronounced during the mating process but is evident also when the birds are disturbed or scolding.

The position of the male's tale is also a good indicator of the degree of his excitement.

During ordinary singing it is kept lowered, but when his courtship song is intensified, or at times when he is scolding, the tail is tilted upward.

Much excitement is manifested during the inspection of available nesting sites, some of which have already been selected and partially filled with sticks by the male.

A male will build false nests in as many boxes and other items he can find in a certain territory.

The female has opinions of her own resulting in violent domestic controversies that intersperse their passionate courtship antics.

(Even in the bird world, imagine that).

The female may refuse the nest offered by the male; sometimes she may accept the nesting box but, disapproving of the nesting material or the way it was arranged by the male, proceeds to throw it out stick by stick.

Both birds do their part in the building of the final nest, but the male spends more time singing and guarding the nesting territory.

After the female is busily engaged with her incubation duties the activities of the male are less important since all he does is to sing rather mechanically.

You got it, Small Bird, Loud Song.

Occasionally he spends his time carrying sticks into some nearby box in the pretense of building a new nest, and while doing so he sings his courtship song.

While doing so, he often acquires a second mate while the first is still busy with household duties.


Common birds House wren stands out preeminently as one of the most eccentric of our birds in the choice of its nesting site.

In fact, its choice of nesting place exhibits such extreme variation that it is difficult to select one that can be considered typical.

The natural environment of the house wren was the woodlands and its nesting site the natural cavity of some tree or stump.

These birds have readily adapted themselves to the environment of man reaching a state of semi-domestic life.

They have availed themselves of houses constructed for their special use or lacking these have built their nests in various contraptions incidentally provided either inside or outside of buildings.

They are not particular and are just as apt to accept an old can in a garbage heap or a mailbox left open rather than a nest box set in the midst of a beautiful flower garden.

It is not uncommon for the wren to make use of the nests of other birds.

The House wren has the habit of frequently building dummy or extra nests, a trait common to other members of the wren family.

The Dark Side of House Wrens:

(wren feeding babies in backyard a couple years ago, this box successfully fledged Chickadees prior to the wrens.)

This small bird with the big song can be a wolf in sheep's clothing, so to speak.

The evidence that House Wrens sometimes destroy the eggs and otherwise interfere with the nesting of other birds is indisputable, but it is not so positively realized that this is only one of the factors we must take into consideration in forming a judgment.

House wrens will destroy eggs, kill babies and even build nests on top of live babies.

Many cavity dwelling birds have fallen victim to the House wren's aggressive behavior.

My personal experience with a House wren killing and disposing of young Chickadees happens often enough around here.

Now, Chickadees are my favorite backyard bird, so you can imagine how angry I was.

Research shows however, that in the natural order of things that healthy environments, certain bird populations are not effected by the House wren's actions.

Many experts claim the wren has superior intelligence to display such aggression in order to survive.

House wrens do have a huge plus side.

The small plain bird with the Loud Song, isn't just another nest thief, however.

These late arrivals to your backyard are late because they are almost 98% insect feeding birds.

High energy birds need a lot of food to keep the engine running and that my friend means copious amount of grass hoppers, mosquitoes, and just about any bug around.

These little birds are constantly busy collecting insects among the flowers pictured.

Yes, there are pros and cons on House wrens and I'm not sure if there is one true line to follow.

You may enjoy them or despise them.

Sure in some regions they destroy several nests and kill off babies, but not to the point of disrupting populations of other native birds.

It is all part of natures cycle until we intervene.

Indeed, research shows, by adding wren houses to your yard you increase the population which in turn adds to the situation.

Yet we enjoy the songs and like the idea they are always on the hunt for another bug.

I suppose it all evens out in the end doesn't it?

Now here are some fast facts on House wrens.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality".

John Quincy Adams

It is possible for you to live on so to speak, by what you taught and gave to others, that they may continue here on earth.

What about you?

"So when this corruptible has but on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory"

1 Corinthians 15:53,54

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you".

1 Peter 1:3,4

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

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Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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