This was my latest view out of the window by my desk at the beginning of February. At first, just a “LBJ” (little brown job) and then I realized exactly what LBJ he was – a Carolina Wren. There once was a time not long ago that they really didn’t spend the winter with us. But as their feeding areas have been altered by climate change, they tend to stick around much more in the winter and there are greater numbers in the warmer months than I ever remember. They have a wonderfully LOUD song. A distinct one. We once had one on our deck in the summer that was so loud, we had to close the door onto the deck as he continued to sing because my husband and I couldn’t talk over him.
Maria Mitchell likely only ever saw them during her trip to the South in 1857. One of our birthday speakers this summer, Drew Lanham, is from South Carolina. He awoke in his hotel room at dawn to the singing of a Carolina Wren and for a moment he said he was totally confused as he thought he was home until he really looked around his room. He was surprised to hear one on Nantucket – and he is an ornithologist!
Wrens can be a little mean which I’m not too fond of. They’ve been known to kick other birds and their eggs out of a nest and take it over. But the male wren builds a few nests to a certain level, the female picks the one she likes, and then they complete the chosen nest. That, I like!
The Carolina Wren was also a favorite of my friend and mentor, MMA Ornithologist Edith Folger Andrews.