A Fun-Loving Guide to the Natural World for Kids and Adults

Wren Cuisine

We’ve been very happy to share Sweetwater with a nesting pair of House Wrens, who made their home in an old birdhouse near the marble slab we use as our outdoor dinner table.  While eating or sitting, we get to watch the wrens hunt, bringing back a whole variety of cuisine for their youngsters. Here one of the parents peeks out before it goes off to hunt -

The parents come home with a delectable smorgasbord of delights.  We imagined that this pale caterpillar tasted a bit like marshmallow -

Any thoughts as to what this bright green one must taste like?

Then came a surprise.  One of the parents brought home not just one, but two yummy-looking snails -

It is fascinating to us how quickly these predators are successful in their hunts.  While large predators like wolves might spend days or even weeks trying to capture a single prey, these birds would come back with a kill in moments — often it would be less than 30 seconds between the arrival of each new prey animal.  Even if both parents were hunting, this is pretty impressive. We were happy to see that our yard could provide such abundant food!

Visit our Adventure Journal to find out about this week’s adventure!

9 Responses to “Wren Cuisine”

  1. What great photos!! And nice use of imagination (marshmallow, indeed?)

  2. I imagine that fat juicy green one tasting like pistachio pudding. Yummy. Wrens are great mommy’s and daddy’s we have a pair nesting in a beat up old house on our clothes line and we sure enjoy watching them too. Your photos are wonderful.

  3. Thanks Sally! It was great fun =)

    Mobug41 — pistachio pudding! That almost makes us want to go out and find one, just to give it a try!

    Your house seems similar to the one ours are nesting in — very old and weathered. Perhaps they enjoy homes that are a little more ‘lived in’?

    Thank you both for the compliments on the photos, as well!

  4. I am so impressed by your great photos! Nice work!

    I have phoebes feeding their babies in nests on my house now, and had robins earlier (http://pfeiffernaturecenter.org/nature-blog/2009/06/robins-raise-a-family/), but no wrens. And my pix were nowhere NEAR as nice as yours. My robins were a wary bunch.

  5. Thanks Peg! The demands of the baby wrens meant that the parents had to be pretty brave — we set up the tripod nearby and waited patiently. The wrens are so quick, though, that it was tough to get good poses and focus. We were hoping for a whole spread of all the different prey the parents brought back (all different shapes and colors!), but these were the best photos of the lot.

    We’ll check out the link you included — we always love visiting the Pfeiffer Nature Center blog! We’re hoping we get to visit in person someday =)

  6. Wonderful photos. I love the busy, babbling song of wrens. It’s great to have a pair near your home. I don’t have any wrens this year and miss them.

  7. Hello barefootheart!

    We’re so sorry that you don’t have any nesting nearby this year — they truly are a joy. Here’s hoping the pictures bring a little ‘wren-ness’ your way!

  8. Really outstanding photographs - nice job!

  9. Thanks so much, Ted! It’s always fun trying to get close-ups =)

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