Page 16 - Wallingford Magazine Holiday 2020 Issue 30
P. 16

 by Bobbie Wood Borne
We had no idea on that particular evening that we were about to experience a harbinger of an unusual year. I’m not talking about Covid here. It was dusk when we first noticed a fuzzy brown ball tucked into the eave of our back porch a year ago in October 2019.
The ball was a perfect fit for the small crevice. But what was it? A bat? A squirrel? Some unrecognizable rodent? When we googled “small fuzzy brown ball in eave of porch”, up popped hundreds of photos of the exact same thing we were looking at — a Carolina wren (thryothorus ludovicianus). We soon learned from a friend who is an expert in birdsong that our cute little bird was a male because females don’t sing the song we were hearing each morning.
Further online research revealed that most Carolina wrens hang around for the winter, and that they usually mate for life. Each evening we looked forward to our little friend’s timely arrival; at dawn we observed his departure. We wondered if he had a mate and if she was nearby on someone else’s porch. Was he calling to her each morning to let her know he was up and ready to start the day?
Our Carolina
We were really getting into this thing, counting on our daily dose of Wrenty.
And then, after about 10 days, he abruptly abandoned us. At least that’s how it felt. No friendly wren all winter or spring; though we checked the eave almost every day at dusk. With the arrival of the pandemic, our focus shifted to masks and toilet paper, and thoughts of Wrenty faded.
Then on September 1, 2020, Wrenty miraculously came home. There he was, tucked head first into his tiny corner again. (Of course there was no way for us to prove he was our wren, but we were convinced!)
Wrenty has been roosting on our back porch for almost three months now. His timing is so precise that we know exactly when to stand by to observe his arrival (currently around 4:45 p.m.) and his departure (5:55 a.m.). He adjusts his timing to the waning light.
We watch his arrival and departure most days. Each morning after flying from his perch, he lands on a nearby pagoda dogwood and sings his loud and happy song. He repeats it from four to 40 times, rain or shine.
We’d like to know what determines the number of repeats. Occasionally he will fly in the opposite direction,
Wallingford Magazine – Holiday 2020

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