At the end of April house wrens returned to Iowa right on schedule. Every year they seem to appear like magic.  Where they were absent just a day or two before the yard suddenly seems to be filled with wren antics and their effervescent voice.

House wrens winter throughout South America and summer across most of North America.   Many make their home year round in Mexico.

Wren house above garden

Wrens feast on insects that pillage gardens.

Wrens love suburbia with its diversity of buildings, shrubs, shade trees, and gardens.   Soon after arriving in Iowa, a wren pair begins housekeeping. Of all birds house wrens are probably the easiest to lure into a birdhouse. They are not shy. The nest box can be positioned where viewing the emerging family is easy. Wrens also are not fussy. If they can’t find a tree cavity or bird house they’ll move into an old shoe or tin can.

Wrens are tiny birds with enormous appetites. They dine on adult insects, caterpillars, spiders, and many other invertebrates that most people consider pests.  A pair nesting near a garden will forage amid vegetables and flowers seeking crop damaging insects.

Perhaps the best wren attributes are their utter cheerfulness and energy. Few wild animals are more fun to watch and listen to. Anyone unfamiliar with the distinctive call of this delightful bird can go to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology All About Birds.  Type in” house wren” and learn more about this amazing summer Iowan and hear its call.