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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Bewick's Wren - 2nd Clutch 2016 (1 Viewer)

SanAngelo

Well-known member
The Bewick's Wrens have a second clutch, I can hear the chicks....!!!

I can't believe it. I knew the male built a new nest in a different box but I never saw the female help after she took off with her other two chicks. You may remember, only one of those chick survived. My updates on the first box/clutch can be found in gw4aurora Nest box activity 2016.

During the first nesting box the male paraded around the backyard running the fence line. I think he was a first time father, over excited about his new mate and not really knowing how to act or what to do. I say this cuz last year he never found a mate, spent most of his days singing.

I'm also suspect of the female, the first clutch had only two eggs.....what's up with that?

Anyway, during this clutch I hardly saw the male. I've been doing a lot of work in the back so I would have noticed if he kept to his pattern of behavior. He was singing in the morning, evening, and occasionally in the afternoon. Now that the eggs hatched he's singing more often.

Yesterday I heard some soft chirping, thought it was the sparrows nesting in my neighbor's soffits. Don't know how many clutches sparrows have but it seems like they nests year round?

This morning I decided to hunt down the chirping. As soon I go out, I see one of the wrens on the fences line headed for the nest box, insect in it's beak. Sure enough, he/she dives in the box and I can hear chicks squealin' away.

Shortly there after, the mate shows up with more food. First time I've seen those two together since the 24th of April, the day after the first fledging 5 weeks ago.

The time line for the clutch and the date of the upcoming fledge is hard to determine. The female was still dragging around and feeding her one chick 3 weeks ago, saw them together last on the 8th of May. This new activity, feeding the chicks, leads me to suspect the hatching was a few days ago. Doing the math, the eggs probably got laid around the 13th. The fledging should take place around the 5th of June.

It appears the female wren gave herself 3 weeks in between broods.

I relocated their new box to the side of the house, gives them a nice fly way with not as much sun. Photos will be hard to take; the walkway is about 4 foot wide with an obstructive view at the open end.

As for the photos.....

The fence/gate is to give you an idea of where I placed their new nest box. The box is nailed near to the top of the fence on the back side. I got a shot of the box on the other side.

Included is a shot of the wren inspecting the box at the old location. The box was moved due to the direct sun and sparrow harassment.

The last shot is the wren today at the new box after feeding the chicks.

I have no intentions of taking any more photos. The view/access is intrusive, no need to stress them out, I'm going to wait till they fledge and hope to be there when they do.

I have a couple of questions......

I'm guessing Bewick's Wrens don't reuse their nests.

Do you think if I cleaned out the first box they would have gone back and built a new nest?

Do Bewick's Wren have more than two clutches a season?

BF is a nice place to spell this all out. Thanks everyone.
 

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SanAngelo

Well-known member
I have a couple of questions......
I'm guessing Bewick's Wrens don't reuse their nests.
Do you think if I cleaned out the first box they would have gone back and built a new nest?
Do Bewick's Wren have more than two clutches a season?

Texas A&M has a lot of good info on the Bewick’s Wrens. Here’s what I found out……

Bewick’s Wrens in the Trans Pecos region and Edwards Plateau will have two broods if they nest early however, most pairs only have one. For this area, data from 144 clutches show 9% of the birds initiate nesting in March and 44% in April. My wren was on the nest at the end of March.

Bewick’s Wrens rarely uses the same nest box. During the first brood the male will start building the second nest.

On average there’s 43 days between the start of the 1st brood and 2nd brood, my time line seems to be spot on.

Females lay between 3-8 eggs, dropping two doesn’t seem too far out of the ordinary.

The chicks will start cheeping on the 8th day.

The female will stop brooding at night a few days before fledging, for this brood that should be tomorrow or Friday, with fledging over the weekend.

I could find nothing on birds returning to the same nest box in the following years.

The question now is…..

Will the wrens re-use the same box in the same location or do I have to relocate the boxes?

Wrens breed at 1yo and can live to be 8yo. This male showed up last year, never mated, and stayed through the winter. That said, this male may be only 2 years old.

I’ve had previous Bewick’s Wrens before this but they left after the breeding season, with yearly gaps in between birds. This seems to be normal behavior; some birds leave the area and some birds stay.

I wish I knew what I could do to encourage the local Curved-billed Thrasher to nest in my yard?
 

SanAngelo

Well-known member
Wrens are still removing the fecal sacs. My understanding they stop doing this shortly before the fledge. They're also feeding from outside the box. Don't know if the female is still sitting with the brood at night.

Other than that, nothing's change. Anticipating the fledge to take place in the next couple of days.

Found data on South Carolina Bewick's Wren from 1980, says they can have 3 broods a season. I'll believe it when I see it...!!

Grasshopper was on the menu for tonight.
 

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SanAngelo

Well-known member
About 6:30 this morning the male and female danced around the nest box singing 3 different songs. They took turns alighting on the opening, eyeing the chicks but serving up no food.

This was still going on an hour later when I left the house, they were doing their best to coach them out but no takers..!!

Got home around 4, 4:15pm, went straight to the backyard. Found one of the adult wrens on the fence line, insect in it's beak, looking for chicks.

I could hear cheeping in the low hanging Live Oak and also in the Plum Tree. The adult wren disappeared in the Plum Tree. Still heard cheeping but couldn't isolate the sound.

Saw some movement at the base of the Plum Tree and noticed a chick hunkerin' down next to the trunk. I waited over an hour to see what would happen, no adult wren showed up. I take it they were having a hard time rounding up the herd, they must have lost track of the little guy.

The chick on the ground started moving around, cheeping, and eventually went through a gap in the fence into the yard with the low hung Live Oak Tree.

That's it for the second brood.

I was spot on for all the dates but I missed the fledging. If I'm lucking I'll see the mom in the next couple of days, hopefully with babies in tow. I wish I knew how many chick she had.

I have three empty nest boxes, all Bewick's Wren approved....just waiting on that 3rd brood...!!

I'm sad I missed the fledging but I had a good day hiking and birding, 7 hours with one new Lifer.
 

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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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