Carolina WrenThryothorus ludovicianus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Troglodytidae
In summer it can seem that every patch of woods in the eastern United States rings with the rolling song of the Carolina Wren. This shy bird can be hard to see, but it delivers an amazing number of decibels for its size. Follow its teakettle-teakettle! and other piercing exclamations through backyard or forest, and you may be rewarded with glimpses of this bird's rich cinnamon plumage, white eyebrow stripe, and long, upward-cocked tail. This hardy bird has been wintering farther and farther north in recent decades.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Listen for the male's loud, piercing teakettle-teakettle song emanating from woody or thickly vegetated areas within the wren's range.
- Cucarachero de Carolina (Spanish)
- Troglodyte de Caroline (French)
Carolina Wrens visit suet-filled feeders during winter. During cold northern winters, they will take shelter in nest boxes containing dried grasses, particularly boxes with slots rather than holes.
This species often comes to backyards if food is available. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.
During breeding season, these wrens may nest in boxes, but they're just as likely to choose a hanging fern or an empty flowerpot tucked away in a quiet corner of an overgrown back yard. Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on All About Birdhouses, where you'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size for Carolina Wren.
Keeping a brush pile in your yard is a great way of encouraging wrens to take up residence. Find out more about brush piles on our Habitat Network site, and read more about offering shelter to backyard birds on All About Birds.
Bird-friendly Winter Gardens, Birdsleuth, 2016.
- Cool Facts
- The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather, with the northern populations decreasing markedly after severe winters. The gradually increasing winter temperatures over the last century may have been responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the mid-1900s.
- Unlike other wren species in its genus, only the male Carolina Wren sings the loud song. In other species, such as the Stripe-breasted Wren of Central America, both members of a pair sing together. The male and female sing different parts, and usually interweave their songs such that they sound like a single bird singing.
- One captive male Carolina Wren sang nearly 3,000 times in a single day.
- A pair bond may form between a male and a female at any time of the year, and the pair will stay together for life. Members of a pair stay together on their territory year-round, and forage and move around the territory together.
- The oldest recorded Carolina Wren was at least 7 years, 8 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Florida in 2004. It had been banded in the same state in 1997.