House Wren

House Wren


metal engraving/etching
By J. J. Audubon.

text from the plate

House Wren

Troglodytes aedon.



"Its flight is short, generally low, and performed by a constant tremor of its wings, without any jerks of either the body or the tail, although the latter is generally seen erect, unless when the bird is singing, when it is always depressed. ... It is sprightly, active, vigilant, and courageous. It delights in being near and about the gardens, orchards, and the habitations of man, and is frequently found in abundance in the very centre of our eastern cities, where many little boxes are put up against the walls of houses, or the trunks of trees, for its accommodation, ... The male seems to delight in attempting to surpass in vocal powers others of his species, during the time of incubation; and is frequently seen within sight of another, straining his little throat, and gently turning his body from side to side, as if pivoted on the upper joints of his legs. For a moment he conceives the musical powers of his rival superior to his own, and darts toward him, when a battle ensues, which over, he immediately resumes his song, whether he has been the conqueror or not."