The Carolina Wren is making a comeback in northwest Ohio. According to wildlife.ohiodnr.gov, this wren was a common resident throughout Ohio until 1977, when a harsh winter pretty much took care of them. The site said that it would take quite awhile for the Carolina Wren to become common in Ohio, particularly northwest Ohio, again.
The Carolina Wren numbers in Ohio have generally been strongest in central and southern Ohio, where the winters are also a bit milder than in northwest Ohio. The Carolina Wren can be found in a variety of habitats, but particularly likes open woodland areas.
Though the Carolina Wren may not have the numbers in Ohio that it once did, this bird is back. I heard the Carolina Wren singing in Oak Openings throughout the summer and fall and also heard them in my back yard, which is just outside of Defiance. I also heard one singing yesterday in the back yard, just before dawn.
Typically, the Carolina Wren extends its range a little bit more after mild winters. But a harsh winter, like the one listed in 1977, can make them disappear for awhile. That was also the case a few years ago. I heard them throughout the fall and summer of 2013. But after the rough 2013-14 winter, the bird’s numbers in northwest Ohio were greatly diminished for a couple of years. I started hearing them again after a one year absence.
Only the male sings, but the Carolina Wren will sing year round. It will sing any time of day during the warm months, but seems to sing in the winter very early in the morning or late in the day. One of the common songs of the Carolina Wren is “tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle tea,” but overall, learning the Carolina Wren song can take some time. Overall, the bird has a strong repertoire of 15 or more bird songs.
The Carolina Wren is the second largest wren in the U.S., behind only the western native cactus wren. According to wikipedia.org, the bird is still pretty small, though, at just 5.5 inches in length and with a wingspan of 11 inches.
The coloration of the Carolina Wren is a rich brown on the top of the head and on the shoulders and tail. It is a lighter chestnut color on the rump, tail and back. The bird has a buff colored breast and a brown line that extends from the eye to the back. The Carolina Wren also has a white line between the top of the head and brown line and is white in front above the breast, with a white patch on each cheek. The bill is yellow and the feet are flesh colored. The female is a darker brown (wikipedia.org).
There are four other wrens found in Ohio, the sedge wren during migration, the winter wren in the winter and the marsh and house wrens during the spring and summer. The Carolina Wren is the only year-round wren found in Ohio. All the wrens in Ohio contain brown coloring, though all are a darker brown than the Carolina Wren.
The Carolina Wren will occasionally come to feeders, for safflower and maybe suet. In general, the Carolina Wren eats insects, lizards, frogs and snakes. During the winter, it eats fruits and seeds.
When building a nest, the Carolina Wren male gathers the material, but the female builds the nest and incubates the eggs. The female lays 3-7 eggs and may have one or two broods. The eggs hatch after 12-16 days and youngsters leave the nest after another 12-14 days.