June 14, 2012


A brood of wrens has fledged, and all of a sudden our house and garden are wreathed in their shrill demands for food. The adults' song is very loud and insistent, too, as they defend their territory fiercely until the chicks have finally left it.

We think there are three, and while we're not sure where the nest was, they seem to be spending the night in a wicker roosting basket that hangs in one of our laurel bushes. We've watched the parents feeding them in there, three yellow gapes stretching out whenever the adults are near, and we think they've been going into the nestbox on the back of the house, too. Wrens love to roost together, even as adults; in fact, 61 were recorded sleeping in the same roost one particularly cold winter!

Although last year a robin began to build in our shower outlet fan, and the year before that a cock wren began to customise the wicker roost (sadly it wasn't chosen by the jenny wren, and was abandoned), we haven't had a nest in the garden since the blue tits', three years ago – so it's lovely to think we've given them somewhere safe to spend the night, if not quite a place to be born.

Click here to read Michael Hartnett's wonderful poem, A Necklace of Wrens.