Jenny Wren Sings a Trilling Song


Jenny Wren arrived here right on time on May 1st. Ever since I have lived out in the country,Jenny Wren has always arrived about the first of May. She or he sings continuallyfrom the first light of day until it becomes dark. It is a distinctive trilling song and makes me know that once again spring is on its way out and summer is arriving.

Jenny Wren in my garden

Jenny Wren is mainly a New World bird that ranges from Alaska and Canada to Argentina. There are 80 kinds of wrens in the United States. The Jenny Wren that we have here is the House Wren. It is a small perky little bird with a tail that stands straight up.

House Wrens have an interesting arrangement. The male wren is the one who comes first and builds the nest…only he doesn’t just build one nest, he will make many of them throughout the area. He also is polygamous and has many wives. Each one takes over a nest and raises a group of Jenny Wren children.

Mr. Jenny Wren sometimes overlooks the nest boxes and builds in strange places. One year he put a nest in the hollow end of a pole that was the top of our old schoolhouse swing set.

Another time there was a nest in one of the hanging lights on the breezeway. That nest was the most interesting for we could watch the progress of the baby birds. The entry was a very small hole at the bottom of the light and Mrs. Jenny Wren was able to go in and out and feed the little wrens after they had hatched.

The time came when all the wrens were encouraged to leave the nest and go out on their own. I remember there were four of them and three of them negotiated the hole to get outside easily, but the fourth wren must have been a bit slow and he could not find the escape hole. He kept flying into the glass around the light. We watched him for a day or two and finally decided that he would die cooped up inside the light so we opened the light door and encouraged him to fly out which he did and went on his merry way.

Mrs. Jenny Wren usually watches over her children for a time after they leave the nest and one can watch her teaching them to fly through small places and light on branches and swing in the wind…and of course, to sing and trill.

As the old nursery rhyme says:

As little Jenny Wren
Was sitting by the shed.
She waggled with her tail,
And nodded with her head.
She waggled with her tail,
And nodded with her head,
As little Jenny Wren
Was sitting by the shed.

I feel that Jenny Wren is part of what makes the countryside in the summer time.



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