How To Attract Wrens To Your Garden
Birds - Wrens
If you'd like to grow your own vegetables, but worry about the pests eating them before you do, consider attracting birds, especially Wren's to your garden. Wrens eat many times their weight in insects on a daily basis, or feed them to their babies.
I used to have a terrible problem with cabbage moth catepillers on my broccoli, Brussles sprouts and cabbage. Since I put up wren houses I rarely see them, except in the Wren's beaks.
I've purchased various kinds of bird houses over the years and have found that ceramic houses work well. Wood ones are great, but they decay and sometimes require painting or sealing. However, our wren's prefer natural, dried birdhouse gourds. You can grow these or purchase them on line or at farmers' markets.
Several families of wrens have nested in our yard every year for as long as I can remember. They usually prefer bird houses and often build more than one nest. They build decoy or 'fake' nests to mislead predators. The average size d bird house that you find at garden shops or at art fairs seem to do quite nicely. They should be large enough for a nest, so at least 8"hx6"wx6"deep. The hole should be about the size of a quarter.
Place the house at least four feet off the ground. They should also be near a tree or shrub as the baby birds need a place to practice flying and landing and also protection from those predators, i.e. hawks, cats, snakes.
I have bird houses all over the place, and they all seem to have occupants or fake nests in them all summer. I have one hanging in the thick of a wisteria vine, two on metal shepherds hooks (sold in garden shops), one is hanging from a branch in a white pine tree, one from a large lilac bush, and two from the lower branches of maple trees. I place the houses near or in my veggie garden and flower beds, as wrens eat insects and keep those pests to a minimum. . I had one on the ledge outside our bedroom window. This was not the best choice as baby wrens are very vocal and even though a wren's song is lovely, it's not so great when they start singing at dawn on Sunday.
Make sure there is a water source or birdbath in your yard and keep the water fresh. I'm a lazy gardener, so my birdbath is only a few feet from my garden hose. Fresh water is very important, so keep the birdbath clean by spraying it out every few days, more in hot weather when algae grows faster and the water evaporates more quickly.
Wren's don't seem to mind people being around their homes, as long as you don't hang around too close for too long. They don't want to lead possible predators to their nests, so will often wait until they don't see you to fly to their nest. You don't want the disrupt their baby's feeding schedule, so give them some space.
We have robins nests and cardinals as well, and we only have one third of an acre. I counted three wren families, two robins' nests and at least two cardinal families on our property this year. I love them all and hope this article helps you welcome wrens, or other birds, to your garden too!
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