This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

ferocious house wrens

wren
Perhaps putting up a wren house was a bad move. An article on the aggressive and destructive nature of house wrens is here, at an Audubon Blue Bird site. I have an enormous racket in my backyard often times now: the battle of the house wrens and the house sparrows.

Last week I posted photos of baby house sparrows ready to fledge. I never saw them after that day. But rather than attending to their family, after that day the sparrow parents have been battling the house wrens.

I perhaps should not worry that it is only sparrows that the wrens are fighting with, but the Audubon article suggests that no other birds nests are safe within an acre of a house wren nest. Sparrows are also very aggressive and will destroy the nests, eggs and nestlings of other species in their territory (see this Cornell article). Sparrows and house wrens are both believed to be factors in the decline of the Eastern Bluebird.

I have been moving the sparrow house progressively further from the wren house. But on my 1/8th acre property, I can't go very far. So, I listen to the battle noises outside. I just want them to do their job and eat the bugs in my garden!

garden birds (Hortus Aves)

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4 Comments:

Blogger doggiewoofus said...

"Sparrows are also very aggressive..." I remember that from younger days when I lived on a farm. We live in a condo in Seattle and firmly believe that if either of our cats saw a bird, they would flee for their lives.

May 29, 2007 8:13 PM

 
Blogger Ki said...

I love wrens but we typically see one Carolina wren a year. I love the cocky, jaunty, way it holds up its tail and the scolding doesn't bother me. We have so many birds scolding our cat anyway, one more voice wouldn't make any difference. Maybe I should put up a wren box.

May 31, 2007 8:25 AM

 
Blogger carletongardener said...

It seems to me there is less scolding with the houses further apart. They are about 80 ft apart now and I've moved the sparrow house a little bit around the corner of the house.

I also am looking at it as just the way these two aggressive species are. There are really too many sparrows in my yard. It makes sense that they have natural ways that limit their breeding.

I'd prefer to encourage the wrens over the sparrows, since the wrens are a native species.

And, even if they fight, they still eat the garden bugs!

May 31, 2007 8:39 AM

 
Blogger carletongardener said...

I seems that the birds are doing good. No fighting noises and I see them in the garden eating bugs. Good job, birdies!

June 01, 2007 10:09 PM

 

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