Attracting Wrens the Easy Way

Wrens are not particularly colorful. They’re small, plain brown birds but they have one particularly endearing quality: they eat insects!  These songbirds also have a distinct high-pitched, bubbly voice and are one of the most popular invited guests to backyards all across North America.  They favor suburban yards and man-made birdhouses.

Commonly called the house wren, this bird is attracted to residential yards, brush piles, low tree branches and clusters of bushes, for habitat and protection against the elements, and also because those dense, low-lying areas provide great insect hunting.

In order to attract wrens to your property, you only need to supply three things:  food, clean water, and shelter.  The food is in abundant supply in most natural areas, in the form of insects like grasshoppers, spiders, crickets, flies, beetles, and caterpillars. Water can be supplied using countless ways. Wren houses provide the shelter and come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors.  What they share in common is the opening size, usually about one inch, which will allow entry by wrens but not larger birds.

Wrens are attracted to houses made of most any material, wood or plastic. Among green-thinking birders, the wren houses constructed of recycled plastic bottles are a huge hit with both the homeowner and the wrens themselves.

Wren houses can be hung from low-lying tree branches, posts, outbuildings, the side of the house, or even from a rose bush.  They sometimes contain roughened interior floors, to give the birds traction as they enter, and to emulate tree bark.

Since birds aren’t known for housekeeping skills, look for easy-opening, low-maintenance wren houses for your yard or birding sanctuary.  Make sure you have access to the birdhouse interior, so you can keep it clean.  Regular removal of dropped feathers or dirt that the birds might have tracked in will keep your wren house a welcoming quiet place to rest for future visitors.

Wrens are also happy if you provide water features nearby, so keep a birdbath or clean pond available to them as a source of drinking water and a place to splash their feathers.  They’ll find the birdhouses easily and want to stick around, if the accommodations are clean, well-stocked, and inviting.

Wren houses will attract wrens, but not all birdhouses will be attractive to all homeowners. That’s why we have many different wren houses available. Each one has its own unique look and features. Some are rustic, some are classic Americana, and some are contemporary. There is a style to suit every taste and budget, and with so many wren houses to choose from, it might not be a bad idea to try a few, to attract as many of these insect-eating beneficial songbirds as possible to your yard.

We hope you enjoy the music!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Rebecca - Baltimore, MD
    January 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm


    I read your article about wrens and would like to add that our Carolina Wrens that frequent our back yard love safflower seeds (which can be found at any good bird food supply place) and raw unsalted sunflower seeds that I grind into small pieces in my magic bullet.

    The problem is wrens breaks are not great seed crackers, so the shelled sunflower seeds a perfect for them.

    I put them on our window sill and I have seen four different wrens as well as a winter wren scarf them down.

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