The House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) is a very small songbird of the wren family, Troglodytidae. It occurs from Canada to southernmost South America and is thus the most widely distributed bird in the Americas. It occurs in most suburban areas in its range, and it is the single most common wren. Its taxonomy is highly complex, and some subspecies groups are often considered separate species.
Adults are 11 to 13 cm (4.3 to 5.1 in) long, with a 15 cm (5.9 in) wingspan and weigh about 10 to 12 g (0.35 to 0.42 oz). The subspecies vary greatly, with upperparts ranging from dull grayish-brown to rich rufescent-brown, and the underparts ranging from brown, over buff and pale gray, to pure white. All subspecies have blackish barring to the wings and tail, and some also to the flanks. All subspecies show a faint eye-ring and eyebrow and have a long, thin bill with a blackish upper mandible, and a black-tipped yellowish or pale gray lower mandible. The legs are pinkish or gray. The short tail is typically held cocked. [Wikipedia]
A plain brown bird with an effervescent voice, the House Wren is a common backyard bird over nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. Listen for its rush-and-jumble song in summer, and you’ll find this species zipping through shrubs and low tree branches, snatching at insects. House Wrens will gladly use nest boxes, or you may find their twig-filled nests in old cans, boots, or boxes lying around in your garage. [All About Birds]
House Wren Facts [All About Birds]
- The House Wren has one of the largest ranges of any songbird in the New World. It breeds from Canada through the West Indies and Central America, southward to the southernmost point of South America.
- A House Wren weighs about as much as two quarters, but it’s a fierce competitor for nest holes. Wrens will harass and peck at much larger birds, sometimes dragging eggs and young out of a nest site they want – even occasionally killing adult birds. In some areas, they are the main source of nest failure for bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Prothonotary Warblers, and chickadees.
- Male House Wrens returning north to breed in their first year are more likely to settle close to an established male than farther from it. Experienced males tend to settle farther apart. Young males may take clues from more experienced males about what areas are good nesting sites.
- The oldest recorded House Wren was at least 9 years old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New York in 1993, the same state where it had been banded.