Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Carolina Wren Family in the Carport

Carolina wrens have been dominating the airwaves around the house this spring. It took me back about twenty years to when there was a very long winter in Michigan. In Ann Arbor, low grey clouds can stream overhead for weeks on end, and by March the drab landscape of grey sky and brown landscape leaves everyone color deprived. I got so desperate for some sign of spring that I went to the library and checked out recordings of birdsongs. Some sort of bonding must have taken place, because for several years after that, I wrote little tunes based on birdsongs. It was nice of the birds to donate their melodies for the purpose, without any copyright restrictions.

The first piece I wrote was based on the song of a Carolina Wren. If you play the slideshow/recording below, you'll hear that a Carolina wren in Michigan sings four triplets in a row. In our Princeton backyard, the wren was doing five. Maybe the east coast wrens are more packed in, and feel a need to go on a bit, to let everyone know who's who and where's where.

A few weeks ago, we started hearing some peeping in the carport as we entered the house, but couldn't figure out where it was coming from.

I finally pulled out a ladder, and started looking in various places above the door.

You can see the orange inside of their mouths, ready and waiting for dinner.

Four, I think.

Around the time I got to wondering when they'd fly, the peeping stopped, and a quick scan of the driveway outside the carport revealed one young wren trapped in the back of the pickup truck, having made its first flight but not quite ready for its second.

The parent was close by, keeping an eye on me.

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