No sound lifts my heart quite like the “teakettle, teakettle, teakettle” of a Carolina Wren in in the springtime.
They keep their same mates, season after season, so I would guess the song doesn’t usually mean “I’m looking for love” — but something more on the order of “I just found some food nearby.”
I’ve been told that only the males sing — and yet I’ve heard unmistakable duets—so what’s the story? Beats me.
I do know that Carolina Wrens have a passion for suet, and I can pretty much ensure a steady supply of Wren songs (they seem to have quite a repertory) by keeping a certain kind of suet dough in my feeder.
Carlo, the wren in this photograph, sang for several seconds longer than usual today, allowing me to find and photograph him in full throat, perched on his high branch. It looks almost like a limb in this picture, but it’s just a branch, made to appear larger by Carlo’s petit dimensions.
He’s small even as wrens go, so perhaps his is a true love song — declaring himself a young adult, seeking his lifelong sweetheart.
Do you have a wren pair in your garden? Count yourself lucky and get out the suet feeder! It’s nourishing for their babies. And, if you’re a Paul McCartney fan, as I have been since age 12, seek out his magical song Jenny Wren. It’s a favorite of mine and I’d be surprised if you don’t come to love it too.