Saturday, January 23, 2010

To the left, Carolina Wren.


“Everything you own in the box to the left”

Nod and smile. Overhearing a pair of sweet Carolina Wrens in a dispute on the front porch isn’t unusual. Again. They’re at it again. Their warning call, a huge noise from a tiny bird, a raspy eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee, is enough to wake a sleeping infant.

Not knowing much about birds in general and Carolina Wrens in particular, I assumed the two were having a lovers’ quarrel. After all, there were two and they seemed to tango. I later learned that was not the case as they are monogamous and rarely “break up”, hence not a lovers’ quarrel. More likely, there was an intruder threatening their space or a hawk nearby, perhaps. I didn’t see a threat to the nest they occupy on the front porch, or a snake, or the Coop who surveys the holly bushes below them. I only saw two snarky Carolina Wrens.

I adore how they prefer living close to the house. They live under the back deck, also. If the door is open, they’ll zip into the garage for a quick inspection. On two occasions, one visited our family room at dinnertime and was smart enough to cooperate with my invitation to freedom. That little Wren escaped through the window I lifted within seconds. Didn’t hesitate. Incredible.

The upturned tail exudes ATTITUDE.


Oooo, she was hot ‘bout something.

Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” came to mind while I stood behind the dining room blinds to photograph the alleged lovers’ spat. I laughed and remembered a few lines of the lyrics,


“You must not know ‘bout me”…


And here is the poor Wren fearing the wild one on the porch...or so I imagined.


(He) hanging back in a front yard tree for safety while she continued her rant…

Then came her hairy eyeball.


“Go ahead and get gone! Call up that chick, and see if she’s home!”
“Standing in the front yard, telling me how I’m such a fool…”


“You must not know ‘bout me
I could have another you by tomorrow
Don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable...”


What’s up over there? I’m all about peace, dude.


Minding my own business, man.




Beth said...

OMG Mary - this had to be my favorite of all your posts! That little spitfire singing Beyonce had me cracking up - "You must not know 'bout me"! What an awesome imagination you have. Thanks for the giggles.

Dan Huber said...

very cute, and some nice pictures, mine don' like to hold still for pictures


Robin's Nesting Place said...

The wrens are so cute. I've only briefly caught a glimpse of one the whole time I've lived here. I miss seeing them!

I used to have them nest every spring in an old mailbox in my garden. One time I took the light fixture down on the carport and realized I didn't have a light bulb, before I got home from the store they had started building a nest in the fixture. It was wonderful to see them right outside the kitchen door raising their young.

jason said...

This had me laughing like a little schoolboy, Mary! Too much fun. I love when wrens get into these kinds of "discussions," but I especially like that you showed some of the neighbors who were trying to stay out of the drama. And the photos are pure delight (you captured a lot of personality in those wren shots).

TR Ryan said...

Brilliant as always! I tried to host IATB again this month -- if for no other reason than to re-reward you with Photographer of the Year again!! You're way ahead of the competition!!!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Adorable! And who am I to say they weren't talking about an interloping female! The worst Carolina wren fight I ever saw was when a second female intruded on the territory of my home pair. The two females were rolling around on the ground, and the homegirl was pecking her in the vent, ow ow ow. What finally happened: the interloper built a nest in the garage; the homegirl stayed in her copper bucket under the eave, and the male tended both broods, which were only about 50' apart. VERY unusual in these genetically monogamous birds.
LOVELY shots and great interpretation. You might be right on the money!

Susan Ellis said...

This is great all the onlookers, just staying out of the way. And I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day now!

eileeninmd said...

Cute shots of the Carolina, Wren, Mary!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
The little Carolina Wrens are darling. I have a pair in one of the hanging wicker baskets by the back door.
I always think the two of them are so cute. They do seem to have an attitude....

Jayne said...

I love how they are just so fearless!

Caroline said...

Can anything scold with more verve that wrens of any sort? I don't have Carolinas here, but the little house wrens that nest every year here are just the same!
2 years ago a house sparrow tried to take over a favored nestbox, Mrs. Wren threw every bit of their nesting material out on to the ground, muttering and swearing every minute she worked.

NatureWoman said...

What a riot, Mary!!!! ROFL! As always, these are awesome photos.

dugfresh said...

i LOVE those things! i can't believe you got such great shots of them! maybe that's the trick: catch 'em when they've got their undies in a bundle, and maybe they won't mind the person over there with the camera...they have bigger matters to attend to.

the wrens are one of my favorite birds. i love their tail feather patterns and their posture. and their sounds, even the raspy "get out of my face" warning.

great shots, once again, and another entertaining story to go with them.

Ruth said...

I have always found wrens to be very reclusive and always on the move. Great pictures as expected!

dugfresh said...

something drew me back to your post. i couldn't put my finger on it at first, but now i know: it was the look of grandmotherly wisdom emanating from the white-throated sparrow. like she just clicked her tongue and said, "ah...young love. those were the days..."

i don't know how you capture so much personality in those birds!

Unknown said...

Terrific photos Mary. You really have a knack with words and photos of giving those birds personalities!

RuthieJ said...

What a great post Mare! It sure brought a smile to my face! I love your little wrens--it must be amazing to have them living so close to you!

Kerri Farley said...

Fabulous post Mary!!

Angie said...

What an adorable post, Mary!!! :)

Cathy said...

Dang. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to Youtube that song 'cause I'm a hopeless culture illiterate.

But I sure could appreciate those lyrics as a caption for those precious wren poses.

The onlookers pixes are a hoot.

"minding my own business!" Har!

Sure glad you don't mind yours, Mary . . .

the world would be short several smiles and chuckles.


Michelle Palmer said...

Your blog is amazing! Such AWESOME photographs of the sweetest friends and your notes...
A favorite!
Wishing you the best~

jeanmac said...

Mary, I hope the birds know they are such "stars" in the blogoshere!

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, I have had the western counterpart to your wrens hanging around my yard this year-Bewick's wrens! I also get rock wrens and cactus wrens. So much fun to watch and so much attitude like you say. A fun post! Are you going back to New River this year?

Anonymous said...

What you do with a camera is amazing, Mary! Those little feathered friends move so quickly but you've got your finger on the shutter really fast! Beautiful images!

Anonymous said...

Love those little wrens - you have the right 'tude for them. I am a transplant to Nc and live inthe mountains - enjoying it all.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I enjoy your sense of humor with the bird photos... Wish I could get the shots you do!

The Blue Ridge Gal

dguzman said...

Break it down, playah. You are wonderful.

Dawn Fine said...

hee hee...Your birdies sure are silly!

Suzanne said...

So cute, I just adore little birds.