Last Updated on April 16, 2022 by Marco C.
If you’re wondering what do wrens feed their babies, you’ll be surprised to learn that their diet isn’t that different from the diet of their parents. However, we actually know very little about the feeding habits of wrens. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at their feeding plans and a few other things.
Adult Wren Food
There are 88 species of wrens, and most of them are insectivorous – mainly eating insects. That usually includes grasshoppers, spiders, and other insects of similar sizes. This, however, isn’t the only source of food.
Learn more about: How to Get Rid Of Carolina Wrens?
Some species have been documented to eat seeds and berries, with other species eating small lizards and frogs. It has to be noted, though, that in order to eat a frog or a lizard – a wren would need to be very large.
The most extreme example is the Eurasian wren, which has been seen delving into the shallows and catching small fish – this isn’t anything revolutionary when it comes to bird diet, as many birds can catch fish. However, it’s extreme for wrens, since they’re usually such small animals.
Something morbid has to be noted too, while we’re on the topic of nestlings and eating. Adult rufous-and-white wrens will kill their own nestlings. However, this isn’t a form of cannibalism, as they don’t eat their dead babies. Instead, they kill them instinctively, as they don’t want them to become food competitors in the future.
Baby Wren Food
Baby wrens – officially known as nestlings – also eat insects. However, because of their size, their parents need to find small insects that they can devour. However, if they can’t find any insects nearby – they’re going to feed seeds and berries to their young.
Their diet should primarily consist of protein, which is why they naturally insist on insects.
Read more about: Do Birds Eat Almonds?
Predation and Migration In The Wild
Wrens are very important members of the food chain, especially in North America. They eat insects, and in return, wrens are eaten by cats, both wild and sometimes domesticated cats, rats, opossums, raccoons, and snakes. They’re often prey to other birds, such as owls.
However, even though they’re in constant danger because they’re small birds with very small claws, they don’t just cower when attacked. Instead, they fight back.
When it comes to migration and habitat, wrens will settle in natural tree holes and crevices. However, they’re not afraid of approaching manmade objects and they’ll often nest in nests made by people, hung up in the woods. Because of their small size, they don’t need large nests and building nests for them isn’t difficult at all.
Additionally, they’re very accepting of humans and they don’t necessarily run at first sight.
They’re migratory birds, meaning that they move away from the south of the United States and move to Mexico in the winter. There are colonies of wrens living in Mexico, Central, and South America throughout the entire year. However, the colonies living in the States need to migrate down south if they want to survive the winter.
They don’t stay there for long, as most wrens return in the spring.
Wrens can be difficult to recognize because of their small size – which makes them difficult to spot in the first place. They’re usually very small birds – depending on the species (there are almost 100 of them), they can be as small as 4 inches and as large as 9 inches.
They’re usually very round, looking like small balls of fluff. The color scheme usually focuses on gray, brown, and black – usually monotonous, except for some blotting on the wings and the tail in some species.
Their bills are very interesting, as they’re downward-curved and they’re very long for such a small bird.
Something that definitely helps when it comes to identification is the song that they sing, with some wren species singing in pairs – not alone. They’re also very lively birds, constantly jumping from one branch to the other, so getting them in your binoculars might be difficult.
Mating and Nesting
Both parents will feed their nestlings, and the young don’t stay in the nest for too long, usually leaving within 3 weeks (at most). A pair of parents will mate no more than twice a year.
Males attract females through singing and they also use their voices to mark and defend their territory. Both males and females usually have more than a single mate during the course of their lives. Females will often move from one male’s territory to the territory of another male.
What do mother wrens feed their babies?
Both parents are active regarding the nestlings' young life, and they usually catch small insects (grasshoppers and spiders) that they give their young to eat. Because they're so small, they can't eat fully-grown grasshoppers and spiders (yet).
How long do wren babies stay in the nest?
This depends on the exact species, as there are species that stay in the nest for a bit longer, but most wrens leave the nest after about 18 days - three weeks at the most.
Do wrens feed their babies at night?
Wrens are documented feeding their babies whenever they're hungry, regardless of what time it is.
What do baby wren birds eat?
Mostly small insects. If there aren't any insects, their parents will find seeds or berries that they can feed to their children. Primarily, their diet should consist of protein.
To Sum Up
Wrens are very small, usually grey or brown birds that we can find all over North and South America, as well as Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa and Australia. There are over 80 species currently recognized and they breed once or twice a year.
Their nestlings usually eat very small insects, but they’ll eat berries and seeds too if there aren’t enough insects around. The food is caught (or foraged) by both parents, and the nestlings stay in the nests for up to 21 days – depending on the exact species.
Some wrens were also documented actually eating lizards and frogs.