The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a common species of wren that is a resident in the eastern half of the United States of America, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico. Severe winters restrict the northern limits of their range while favorable weather conditions lead to a northward extension of their breeding range. Their preferred habitat is in dense cover in forests, farm edges and suburban areas. This wren is the state bird of South Carolina.
There are seven recognized subspecies across the range of these wrens, and they differ slightly in song and appearance. The birds are generally inconspicuous, avoiding the open for extended periods of time. When out in the open, they investigate their surroundings and are rarely stationary. After finding a mate, pairs maintain a territory and stay together for several years. Both sexes give out alarm calls, but only males sing to advertise territory. Carolina wrens raise multiple broods during the summer breeding season but can fall victim to brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds, among other species. Some populations have been affected by mercury contamination. [Wikipedia]
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. [All About Birds]
Carolina Wren Facts [All About Birds]
- 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.
- 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 re-released during banding operations in Florida in 2004. It had been banded in the same state in 1997.