• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Carolina Wrens abandoned nest? (1 Viewer)


United States
Hello all! I have a bit of a situation.. a lovely pair of Carolina Wrens recently made a nest in a bucket full of horse bandages on a shelf in my garage here in middle Tn. The eggs hatched about a week ago, I believe there are 5 chicks, I have only ever used a camera to zoom in from a distance so as not to disturb them… it’s bad enough I’m always in and out of there and so is my German Shepherd, this cannot be avoided.

I always notice the parents flying in and out carrying insects and can spot them sitting on the nest. But today was different.. I noticed firstly that the chicks were LOUD, every time I was out there, they were vocalizing the whole time (seemed like every time they saw me) and when I’d look over there, I could see even from where I was standing that they had their heads up and mouths agape begging for food because I could make out that telltale yellow on the mouths. I did not see the parents at all, which was unusual. At no time today did I observe them coming, going, or sitting the nest.

Now it’s night time, and we’re having a cold spell.. the temps are in the 30s.. I let my shepherd out at least twice a night every night and the babies are alone. I’ve never not seen a parent sitting on them at night. It’s so cold.. and I am worried. I have never gone close to the nest because I fear that my dog (who doesn’t even know the nest is there) and I have already been enough of a disturbance.. I also have a pet peacock who does not enter the garage (the door is mostly shut so he can’t enter but the wrens have room to fly in) but he is quite loud and always around (it’s mating season and he’s obsessed with me, lol). Is it possible that they have abandoned the nest because of all of this?

And if they have.. how can I be sure without disrupting them? If they’re truly on their own now, I will of course call a rehabber. I just don’t want to make a mistake here. I feel terrible and I’m so worried because of the cold. Thank you!
Hi Larien and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I think you're right to be worried, as I doubt they have much in the way of feathers yet. Do call a rehabber for advice as they need constant feeding. It sounds to me like one of the adults may have died and the other has abandoned the nest to find another partner to try and raise another brood.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
Thank you to those who replied and wished us well. Early this morning the chicks were still alone, and looking miserable, so I made the decision to intervene. As seems to be common in my area per perusal on Nextdoor, locating an available rehabber that is not full right now has proven difficult so far but I will continue my search (I may have to wait for an opening from one of only two that take passerines here). In the meantime, I am an experienced bird keeper (in fact I successfully rehabbed and released several non native species myself in Ohio where I’m from) with several pets (the peacock, a 22 year old African grey, several doves, poultry, etc) and thankfully I have a lot of insects to feed them because I also keep jumping spiders.

I have the chicks safe and warm until I can find placement, and they are eating readily for me. They’re in good shape now and nice and warm, vocalizing again and they poop after they eat. Fortunately I work from home and I can dedicate myself to this task! I will continue to update on their progress while they’re still here.

Oh good luck. Don't think you'll be getting much sleep!!! Prepare yourself for some losses too... it's a very difficult job raising such young nestlings. You could go onto live meal worms as they get older if you wish. Or even try and find some caterpillars :unsure:

Yes, please do keep us informed.
Oh good luck. Don't think you'll be getting much sleep!!! Prepare yourself for some losses too... it's a very difficult job raising such young nestlings. You could go onto live meal worms as they get older if you wish. Or even try and find some caterpillars :unsure:

Yes, please do keep us informed.
I’m feeding small live mealworms right now, thankfully I have a wide variety of live insects because that’s what I feed my pet spiders. If this tragedy had to happen, it happened in the best possible place. And as an insomniac anyway, up before sunrise to feed the horses and poultry, I should be able to power through. 😅

Right now I’m only concerned about one of the five, the other four are all begging for food and eating regularly (and pooping when they’re finished) but the fifth is not very responsive. He will swallow the food when I open his mouth, but I am prepared to lose him. I know it goes with the territory. Fingers crossed though!

Thank you!
Hello all! An update for you! All 5 babies are doing amazingly! They eat from sunup to sundown and sleep during the night.. so that’s my only chance to get sleep as well. Compared to when I bottle raised my donkey in the house from birth for 4 months.. which was literally 24/7.. this is easy. 😅 These little buggers all have very healthy appetites and are already bigger and slightly more feathered than they were yesterday, and they poop every time they feed so I know everything is working internally.

Here is a “before” feeding when they start letting me know it’s been 20-30 minutes and they’re hungry again:


And after, when bellies are full and it’s time to rest.. very very briefly.. 😂

Hi everyone…. So.. good news and a bit of sad news… unfortunately, the little runt I’ve been worried about since the start has passed away. I’m surprised I was able to keep him going as long as I did, in all honesty. He just was not thriving or growing at the rate of the others, and yesterday afternoon he stopped feeding entirely.

However, the remaining four are doing great! They’re starting to get their adult coloration, those lines behind the eyes, and I see them preen themselves. They’re eating (and pooping!) regularly and while I am the most exhausted I have been in a LONG time, I’m happy to be helping these little ones.

Here is a photo I’ve just snapped of the babies as they wind down for a brief nap after a feeding.

What a great job you're doing for these wee guys Larien.

Thanks so much for the update... sad though it is, I think I knew that one wouldn't pull through.
Sorry to hear of the one that passed but you should be proud of yourself for your caring on the others. :)
Hi Wrenlovers,

This summer I lost two mama wrens even before the nesting. They often fly low , probably because cats ate them.

For the third wren I bought a new house with a very small window. This time mama was feeding the babies for almost 15 days (don't know how many babies, maybe two). Babies gone on the 15th. I am not sure if they flew away or somebody ate them, like a crow or squirrel.

The previous summers were also unsuccessful. One time three babies were eaten after 8-10 days, the next two summer babies died from hunger, because mamas were eaten by cats.

Westchester, NY

Users who are viewing this thread