The Feeder Feed: New Bird!

I have a new bird.  Twitter

I think…think… this is House Wren, Troglodytes aedon.

House wren usually stands around with its tail sticking more or less upward.

Wren?  What do wrens eat?

I’m thinking wren. 

And this bird isn’t overly shy, either. 

In the meantime, I received my new "Brick By Brick" mug.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wanda says:

    Wrens are bug eaters for the most part, I do believe. They are quite chatty and loud for such a little bird. They have a nice trilly song, also. You’ll always know when they are around. Yes, they do often have their tails held in an upright position. I’ll bet they may be attracted to one of the birdhouses you put up. My bird book doesn’t say what their diet consists of, but it does tell the odd places wrens like to build their nests-mailboxes, flower pots, pockets of clothing hung out to dry, etc.

    I’ll take a guess that they may enjoy suet or perhaps the jelly and oranges.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    Looks like a house wren to me.

    Around here, the Carolina Wren is much more common.

    The absence of a white eye stripe is dispositive.

    Although they often hold their tails upward, they don’t necessarily always, especially when balancing vertically on something narrow, like a feeder rack. But the tail is characteristically flicked upward as they hop along the ground, it’s a very unique and eye-catching movement.

    And they are bold as brass. We have a pair of Carolina wrens who regularly set up housekeeping in the wreath on our door, and even if you open the door they will just fly off a little way and scold you until you shut it again. My father could persuade them to come right up to his feet and eat mealworms (they LOVE mealworms!)

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    wanda — yes they do build in odd places.

    In addition to the grapevine wreath on our front door, they’ve built in the hose rack on the house wall, a corner of the grape arbor, and a knothole in the siding. They also do occasionally use our birdhouses!

  4. Random Friar says:

    Try this lovely resource:

    Or go directly to:
    (Click the “All About Birds” tab to search).

    As to what attracts them, Wanda was right: bugs. Cornell says:
    “Wrens love brush piles for cover, protection, and a source of insects. If you need to prune trees or cut brush in your yard, consider heaping the cuttings into a pile as a safe place for birds to gather.”

  5. wanda says:

    Random Friar, Thank you so much for the links! Wow, great resource, I had no clue.

    I concur on the brush pile, it provides a source of insects, shelter from the weather and is a hiding place from predators, if needed.

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    The Cornell site is fabulous. I’ve been using it more and more.

    It leaves the old baby-blue RT Peterson books in the dust.

    There is also a really neat iPhone app called chirp! which catalogs birdsongs and also links to the Cornell site. You can download a free abbreviated version – Chirp USA Lite.

  7. yatzer says:

    TROGLODYTE? In my mind a sweet little bird is not a troglodyte.Who came up the this name anyway? (rehetorical question)

  8. erinalicia says:

    I want that mug!

  9. wanda says:

    erinalicia, You may have one of those mugs for your very own. If you scoot over to page 2 of Fr. Z.’s awesome blog, scroll down a little, you will come to a picture of the mug and links to Cafe Press site. There you will find mugs, etc., all awaiting your order.

  10. doanli says:

    My mother in law has a wren nesting in one of her hanging plants now. I cannot wait to see the babies!

    Great mug too, Father!

  11. erinalicia: Just click the image of the mug!

  12. House Wrens gobble meal worms.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:


    ??????????? is just descriptive of the fact that they like to nest and search for food in holes and cavities – it isn’t pejorative if you’re a bird!

  14. AnAmericanMother says:

    ??????????? – That’s troglodytes in Greek characters, which show up in the preview but not in the final version! trogle’ means a hole or cavity, and dyein means to enter.

  15. AnAmericanMother says:

    And I think the aedon may be related to aeidw, meaning to sing or whistle. Which makes sense, because they are very vocal and cheery little birds. We always have at least one pair hanging around. They will sit on the top of the board fence or just out of reach in an azalea bush and scold the dogs.

  16. Luce says:

    I love that fat little Wren! I want it in my back yard, so I clicked on it:) Dang, I guess that just applies to the mug:)

  17. Ed the Roman says:

    You should name him Christopher.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Wrens don’t look very colorful-but they are God’s creatures nonetheless!

    I remember a long time ago at an aunt and uncle’s house there was a wren house in their backyard. My uncle used to sing a little song to them called ‘Little Jenny Wren’.

    Gee Father Z, I hope that mug doesn’t take a tumble! ; )

  19. AnAmericanMother says:


    “The wren, the wren, the king of all birds,
    St. Stephen’s Day was caught in the furze.
    Although he is little his honor is great,
    So up me boys and give us a treat.”

    The wren, like the chickadee, has a good deal of myth and superstition surrounding her.

  20. yatzer says:

    Well, that’s interesting about the word troglodyte. Thanks.

  21. cdnsem says:

    Do you think that a Latin edition of the “brick by brick” mug will eventually be available? What would the “Original Latin” say? How about the following:


    Not a bad motto for an episcopal coat of arms, wouldn’t you say? :)

  22. Latin version? Interest?

  23. Patikins says:


    Regarding a Latin version of the mug, I think there would be some interest. Perhaps Latin on one side, English on the other if that is possible with cafepress. I think almost anything with Latin is cool. :)

    Also, I think adding the address of your blog somewhere in the graphic is a good idea. I want to get one of the mugs (not sure which design) for a relative who is a priest. He’s not a “say the black do the red” type priest. Perhaps having the URL on the mug will make him check out your blog out of curiosity. Maybe. One can hope.

  24. irishgirl says:

    AnAmericanMother-what a cool little poem! Didn’t know that there were superstitions about wrens and chickadees….chickadees are cute with their little black caps!

  25. AnAmericanMother says:

    There are tons of superstitions about wrens, probably because they are so cheeky and fearless and hang around people so much.

    Supposedly the wren by scolding and fussing betrayed St. Stephen when he was trying to hide from his enemies, which is why she is hunted on St. Stephen’s Day. And your Jenny Wren was actually the Queen of the Fairies, who could disguise herself as a wren.

    Another little poem – based on the fact that doves have untidy nests and scraggly chicks, usually only two, while the wren has a clutch of ten to a dozen eggs and chicks as neat and tidy as himself:

    The dove says, “Hoo woo! What shall I do?”
    I can barely maintain two.
    But the little wren, he has ten,
    And brings them up like gentlemen.”

    The chickadee was considered ‘medicine’ or a spirit mentor by plains Indians – especially the Crow. Lots of Indian legends about chickadees and their doings.

  26. AnAmericanMother says:

    Father . . . I would love a Latin version. Except that I know that our parochial vicar would want one . . . so I’d have to buy two!

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