The Song of a Carolina Wren

The New Year began with the song of a Carolina Wren, its music bright and colorful enough to light up a morning of dark gray clouds and no sign of a sunrise. A cold gray rain began to fall, slow and steady, and it fell all day and into the night.

The small, feisty Carolina Wren, cinnamon-brown with a long, upturned tail, warm orange-buff breast and pale stripe over the eye, is such a familiar presence around our house and yard that I too often take them for granted. It’s the little brown wren that rustles in the bushes next to the porch, searches for spider webs all around the deck, stops by the feeder now and then, and so often tries to nest in a corner of the garage or in a hanging fern. A plain little bird with a glorious voice.

Bold, curious, and very vocal – with a wide repertoire of songs, trills, buzzing, scolding, burbles and other calls – the Carolina Wren is a compact feathered package of boundless energy and persistence. It’s assertive, active, entertaining and sometimes even comical to watch – but when it sings, the sheer beauty and power of its song can take your breath away. It sits on the deck rail here, head back, bill parted, throat throbbing, and its whole body bounces up and down with the passion of its song.

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