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Carolina Wren

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I usually see a lot of house wrens in my yard. At least one of the birdhouses in my front and back yards gets used every year, so I always see the full run of a wrenish summer singing males, investigatory females, nest building, frantic shuttling of food to the nestlings, and a day or two of clumsy fledglings stumbling around neighborhood trees. Yesterday, however, I found my first Carolina wren lurking in the brush. I would never have found him, except for his persistent calling while I was gathering tomatoes. I followed the sound around the yard for several frustrating minutes, scanning the tall trees until I finally found him right at face level in a thick row of unkempt shrubs. He was noticeably larger and darker that a house wren, but with the same nervous habits jumping quickly from branch to branch and constantly turning his head to scan the vicinity. His call was a series of variable clear whistles that eludes easy description. It wasn't the tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle song that I found on several websites.

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