If there are Carolina Wrens in your backyard, you’ve probably already heard them. Many sing throughout the winter, they are usually one of the first to utter alarm calls in response to potential threats like hawks or cats, and male Carolina Wrens sing their loud tea-kettle songs up to eight times per minute in the morning. These small birds have spread into more and more backyards in Maine in recent decades, and have increased in abundance by 30% across much of the northern part of their range. They can be found nearly everywhere in Maine now, especially near human habitation, and have been confirmed breeding as far east and north as Ellsworth and Orono, respectively. If you hear one singing in your yard, now would be a great time to set up a wren nesting box, or you just might find one nesting in your garage or grill in a couple of months. They have been observed nesting in almost every conceivable human-made cavity, including flower pots, tin cans, broken-down cars, coat pockets, and even old shoes!
Backyard Bird of the Month is a feature by Maine Audubon created for the Maine Home Garden News, the newsletter of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Garden and Yard
Photo: Doug Hitchcox