Can you positively identify a wren strike?

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  • #6677
    Maybelle
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    As I noted in the last update to “two females with one male”, I am dealing with a possible house wren problem. Is here any way to know for sure the damage was done by wrens?

    I looked again at the swallow nest and I think it is most likely the swallow nestlings did not die at the same time.

    The timing of the last two strikes (bluebird house and tree swallow house) appear to have happened near fledging time.

    There is a pair of house wrens nearby, but I am wondering if these patterns are a fit.

    I am so tempted to cart off the wrens, box and all to a far away location.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #6678
    David in Stafford,VA
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    Unless you actually see the wrens going in and out of the box, I don’t think you can say “positively” that it was a wren strike. However, if you have protective predator barriers on the pole, no house sparrows in the vicinity, and the wrens are around, then it is a pretty good indicator. Check out “sialis.org” for more information on the wrens.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #6690
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    Wren’s are sneaky so I doubt you will see them. But if they destroy eggs they usually start putting sticks in soon after. (Some one correct me if that is wrong) House sparrows will sit on top and chirp and poop on the roof of your nestbox. Did you see wounds on your dead birds? Wrens don’t attack older babies…I’d say 5 days and older. I don’t have many wrens but I’m dealing with them with my friends boxes. I don’t think that they normally peck the chicks to death. Usually they only take tiny babies out and pierce eggs. Are you sure it isn’t house sparrows?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by tamsea.

    Tammy

    #6691
    David in Stafford,VA
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    I agree with Tammy on the actions of the wrens. I do not have much experience with the HOWR. The one time that they did destroy the BB eggs I just took down the box for the season. They have not been back since – although I have seen them in the winter back by my wood pile.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #6696
    dogsandbirds
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    They don’t always load sticks right away. Sometimes they never do. Around here they are very unpredictable.

    If you have the right size entrance hole my money is on wrens most of the time.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #6700
    tamsea
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    But Gin, I think Maybelle’s saying that the attacks happened when the nestling were close to fledging. So, that wouldn’t be wrens, correct?

    So wrens don’t always start putting sticks in right away? I guess I just assumed that they did that because they make so many dummy nests. That shows that it isn’t all about the nest. It’s just plain territorial.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by tamsea.

    Tammy

    #6751
    dogsandbirds
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    I hope I addressed the first question in another thread!

    When they raided the box in the backyard this year, sticks didn’t show up until a month after the second raid. Go figure. There have been years when all they did was kill eggs and never load in a single stick.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #6759
    David in Stafford,VA
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    That was the experience that I had. They didn’t seem interested in building a nest – just killed the eggs and ran. Removing the box was my way of denying my yard to them The Blues did not come back until the fall – just hanging around until the spring.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #6776
    Maybelle
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    Thank you for your thoughts on this. The fact that I had just discovered the wrens nesting nearby made me first suspect them. But after doing some online reading, etc., I have noted that while they have been known to kill a larger bird, generally it sounds like it is more likely to be eggs or small hatchlings, as Tammy has suggested.

    These two were already banded and one had already fledged or perhaps was frightened from the nest and fledged early? . I will never know how one survived and the other did not. It was after the mama headed toward a tree to feed the baby rather than to the box that I checked and found the other one dead.

    And so far I have not seen the dummy stick nests.

    So I am suspecting more & more that this has the mark of a HOSP. There is a horse barn nearby, although I was not aware of HOSP in the area since Leah was nesting there. I’ve placed a revolving door trap near the attacked boxes. Perhaps I can catch the culprit.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #6777
    Maybelle
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    It is really helpful to hear from those who have experience with house wrens, since I have not. I would say these almost ready to fledge nestlings looked savagely attacked. Not a pretty sight.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #6778
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Cari – sorry this happened- horse barn nearby, savagely attacked older birds equals HOSP!!! (in my humble opinion)

    #6794
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    I agree!! definitely.

    Tammy

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