Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Carolina Wren's Strong Grip

Carolina Wrens have large strong, gripping feet.
These birds are so much fun to watch, especially their bouncing stance.  I feel fortunate to have a pair of wrens that frequent my garden and my patio area, flying in low to the ground to explore the garden, the logs around it, the edges of the house and any pots or plants tucked in the corners.
I've heard bird bander's comment on the strong grip of their feet, but not until I witnessed this wren bathing recently did I completely appreciate the strength of that grip!
Raccoons visit my yard at night and frequently turn over the bird bath.  I sometimes hear the "kerplunk" if I'm sitting in the living room reading.  I try to discourage them by putting a pan of water on the ground at the edge of the patio.  It worked last night. They triggered the movement sensor of the porch light, though, and I looked out to see two of the cutest fellows climbing the posts to the deck and peering over the cross beam, clearly in search of seeds or suet. They found none!
The last time I heard the bird bath fall over, the chimes also started ringing.  I looked out that time to see a raccoon hanging upside down from the cross beam checking out the chimes for food!  I have to admit they make me smile.
When I filled the bird bath the next morning, I filled it too full, even though there are some rocks in it, placed there for smaller birds.  The water was too deep for this determined little wren, but that didn't stop him from taking his bath just the same.   
As you scroll through the images below, notice that he never lets go of the rim of the bird bath!
He grips the edge, lowers his sides into the water and flicks his wings and tail to splash water over his back.

Needless to say, after watching his efforts, in the future, when the bird bath is actually level (which is rare), I won't be filling it so full!  
Links and resources:

More Carolina Wren posts in this blog
Cornell on the Carolina Wren


  1. Fabulous post about one of my favorite visitors.

  2. Thanks, Lisa! Wrens have so much personality!

  3. Neat post! I enjoy watching Carolina wrens. They are hard working, especially if they are building a nest.

    And as for those other little bandits, I have taken some really cute pictures of their babies stranded on my deck in the past, but they can also be a real "pain" when they carry off your suet feeders and even a bird house fastened on a pole--Never did find the birdhouse.

  4. So cute! I love all the photos of the wren bathing!


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