The Carolina wren is one of our favorite backyard birds. Most of us are likely to either see or hear one in our yards every day of the year. In my case, I hear the bird’s loud tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle from early morning until dark. Although Carolina wrens will occasionally visit our feeders (especially in winter), we rarely see them feeding away from our feeders. That being the case, have you ever wondered what these hyperactive active birds eat throughout the year?
The answer to that question is a wide variety of invertebrates such as insects, spiders, caterpillars, and millipedes. These small animals comprise a whopping ninety-five percent of the Carolina wren’s diet. Since a Carolina wren must eat slightly less than half an ounce of these critters, each day just to meet its body’s metabolic needs that means this wren is eating a lot of insects. To put this in perspective, each month each of the Carolina wrens that inhabit your yards eats roughly a pound of some of the smallest and least revered members of our backyard animal community.
I guess this explains why we rarely see a Carolina wren just resting. They must continually hunt to survive. When we do catch a glimpse of one, it is hopping through our shrubs and gardens, or checking out the eaves of our houses, barns other spots where spiders and insects lurk.
They truly lead a very busy life away from our bird feeders.