CAROLINA WREN – (Thryotorus ludovicianus)
The Carolina Wren has a fairly loud song for such a small bird – some 13 cm (5 in.) long. It is medium brown on top with few lighter markings, as opposed to other wrens. There is a whitish eyebrow. The throat is white, and the under parts are beige. The thin bill is grey, and the legs are pinkish grey. Both sexes are similar, but there are some differences between the supspecies, As with other wren species, this one will hold its tail cocked up at times, then making it easier to identify.
The English name Carolina is associated with the bird’s habitat, and ‘wren’ is from Old English.The Latin genus name ‘Thryotorus’ is from Green and means a ‘reed jumper’, and the species name ‘ludovicianus’ refers to Louisiana, which is part of its habitat.
The Carolina wren prefers a moist shrubby habitat and will come near suburban areas, where they forage on the ground and in thick foliage for insects and arthropods. They will also feed on seeds and berries, and are attracted to bird feeders.
Carolina wrens mate for life, and both parents build the nest, which is located in a cavity, natural (trunk crevices, woodpecker holes) or man-made (nest boxes).
The Carolina wren does not breed on PEI and this bird has only been sighted as ‘accidental’ so far on the island. However it is expanding its breeding range northward and has been found elsewhere in the Maritimes. Its overall breeding range is the eastern half of the USA, with the south of Ontario and parts of Mexico. It is usually a year-round resident, which means that on the years where there are harsh Canadian winters, its expansion northward is thwarted.
The Carolina wren is the state bird of South Carolina.
Conservation: the population of the Carolina wren has increased over the last few decades. Its preference for moist fragmented and reforested areas helps that species, as well as the fact that it adapted well to human presence.