Bewick’s Wrens at the Feeder

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) at the suet feeder.
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) at the suet feeder.

With the snowfall last night our feeders have been busy. I actually had to move one of the seed feeders because the branch of the lilac tree that it was on collapsed under the weight of the heavy, wet snow. This large branch is now very popular as a perching area for the Mourning Dove and a whole host of other birds that are using our feeders.

One of the regulars at the feeder is a Bewick’s Wren (Thyromanes bewickii). This beautiful little wren has a noticeable white eyestripe, brown back and a lighter gray/white belly. It often cocks its long, barred tail as it perches or hangs from the suet feeder.

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Bewick’s Wrens are primarily insect eaters, using their long curved bills to glean all sorts of invertebrates from small crevices. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behaviour notes that Bewick’s Wrens “consume some berries and plant seeds in winter” and this is definitely what the two wrens that are visiting our feeders are doing. The suet feeder seems to be the prime attraction but they’ve also been feeding on the seeds on the ground beneath the feeder as well.

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) on the ground feeding on seeds (pre-snowfall)
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) on the ground feeding on seeds (pre-snowfall)

I’m not sure if the two wrens that are currently visiting our feeder are a monogamous pair which is typical of this species. I’ve seen Bewick’s Wrens building nests in our neighbour’s little used garden hose wheel so it is possible that these are two local wrens. Regardless, they’re fun to watch at the feeder and very entertaining.

2 comments

  1. It’s amazing how much feeder activity increases with a little bit of snow or ice. Great shots of the wren. I enjoy having wrens around because they always seem to be such perky little birds. (I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize like that, but they do seem perky.)

  2. Thanks Marvin – I’ve definitely noticed that activity at the feeders is variable with the weather. Unfortunately the cats next door are also becoming more frequent in our yard and actively stalking birds. That may have an affect on bird behaviour as well.

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