“Yes it is”; a song to warm your heart and the winter chills and a very familiar one at that! The song, a descending rain of notes, “tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle” or one can describe the tune as “Carolina, Carolina Carolina, Carolina!!” Along with curious and comical antics to brighten ones smile and bring a chuckle on the dreariest of gray days. One of the first to be seen and heard protecting his or her territory from invaders of any kind! My little songster of winter pictured above and below.
But, not just to brighten the “winter blues” as this little one will challenge the largest violator of his space on a year round basis. I remember back in my turkey hunting days of stealthy sneaking into the dark spring time woods long before dawn to find a position to conceal myself and wait for Mr. Gobbler to make his appearance with hopes that the local squirrels would keep quiet and not broadcast my location, only to have this little rascal telling the whole world that I was there with the familiar scolding of an abrasive nasal “jeet.” to chase off intruders at dawns early light.
Those days have since long passed and I have pretty much exchanged the gun for the camera as far as any hunting is concerned. So what I may have considered back then as unwanted vocal pests for that moment, have now become creatures of joy and welcoming comfort to enlighten my own curiosity into their being! Hunting does enhance one’s interest in nature, but the camera and lens makes it so much more fun and intriguing and year-round with minimal disturbance to nature’s delicate balance. I still see the need of hunting for conservation, but there are plenty of hunters out there to keep things in check without my need to join them any longer.
The Carolina Wren is one of my favorite birds to photograph and I never tire of capturing their images. They always seem to be prevalent and willing to entertain their photographer or observer with curious and comical poses and behavior. Again, just your presence will bring them to life and out into the open with perhaps a display of male aggression while defending his claimed territory or just a satisfaction of his own curiosity to see who is there invading his space.
One of the most effective ways to find this little creature is using the playback of the Eastern Screech Owl trill. A favorite tool of the birding crowd, and especially during a Christmas Bird count. An IPOD in ones shirt pocket with the little trill in play will bring out the most interested of species to see what the ruckus is all about. And this can be accomplished most any time of the day although no self-respecting screech-owl would be singing during the bright light of any day. This is a song for dusk, the darkness of night and just before dawn!
“Oh the cockiness” and humorous antics of this little creature and the positions he will assume to get the best vantage point to view his intruder. And then once found, he will project that inquisitive look of wonder and curiosity!
The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is a medium size wren with rufous (reddish) upper parts and buff (orange-cream) underparts. The prominent and brilliant white eyebrow, white throat and long down curved bill make identification easy and set it aside from the other wrens.
A similar species, the Berwick’s Wren has a longer tail barred with gray and black and ashy-gray underparts with no buff or orange. The Florida Carolina Wren is larger, stouter with a darker rusty chestnut above and more deeply colored below.
The Carolina Wren will roam and forage around thick tangled vegetated areas, brush piles and creep up and down tree trunks looking for insects and fruit. He may cock his tail upward while foraging but hold it down while singing. The bird is very much at home in the thick of things and can be quite shy, although their loud piercing tune makes them easy to find. Unlike the other species in their genus, only the male Carolina Wren sings this loud song.
The male and female Carolina wren will build their nest together and its loosely constructed, cup-shaped and domed with a side entrance consisting of a large variety of materials such as bark strips, dried grasses, dead leaves, pine needles, hair, feathers, straw, shed snake skin, paper, plastic, or string. They are known to build multiple nests to confuse predators. The male and female may bond at any time and it is usually for life. The pair will stay on their territory year round and explore and forage within the territory together.
The Carolina Wren can be found throughout the eastern United States from the northeast west to the Ohio valley and southward to Texas. Their preferred habitat includes brushy thickets, lowland cypress swamps, bottomland woods, and ravines choked with hemlock and rhododendron. They gravitate toward shrubby, wooded residential areas, overgrown farmland, dilapidated buildings, and brushy suburban yards.
Frigid winters with lots of snow and ice can reduce populations but they often quickly recover. However the gradual rise in winter temperatures over the last century has seen an increase in the range of their northern territories
The Carolina Wren is the state bird of South Carolina..
Good Birding and Happy Bird Photography