Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

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WREN FAMILY: The Mysteries of Happiness

Wrens, a family of little brown Birds, are well-known for their high energy and trilling songs. Friendly and active, House Wren is often called “Jenny Wren” in children’s storybooks. Meanwhile Carolina Wren, one of the largest Wrens, flits from perch to perch looking for tasty bugs, delighting gardeners.

Voracious in their nesting endevours, Wrens build nests in boots, mailboxes, and even car radiators. Quick and agile Cactus Wren builds his nest amongst the sharp spines of a cactus. To impress the Female Wrens, Marsh Wren frantically builds as many dummy nests that He can in the wetlands. The scientific name for Wrens is “Troglodytidae,” which means “cave dwellers.” This comes from the elaborate enclosed nests that many Wrens build. Besides housing eggs, these roofed nests also act as their communal roosts.

Although most wrens live secret lives in dense forests, Cactus Wren (Genus: Campylorhynchus) and his Friends live in the open semi-arid areas of the Americas. Gathering in small flocks, Cactus Wrens will help the Breeding Pair in feeding. One of the largest of the Wrens (the size of a starling), He is pugnacious in defending his territory whilst fending off larger birds.

Best known for their bubbly tunes, Wrens often have as many as 130 different songs in their repertoire. Although They do sing all year round, Wrens are most famous for being the joyful harbingers of spring with their trilling melodies. And, Winter Wren, a shy Bird, has the loudest songs of all the Wren Family.

In addition, Wrens’ songs have a magical quality to them. In some Native American stories, Wrens can bring the dead back to life with their powerful singing. Called the Snow Bird, Black-headed Wren is said to summon the snow. However, He does know the direction and time of the storm.

Wrens are legendary for their spiritedness. Whether defending their territory or building nests Wrens conduct themselves great zest. Let these little brown Birds induct you into the mysterious of happiness. Lose yourself in their songs, and be enriched beyond your dreams.


Science Notes:

1. Members of the wren family called the Troglodytidae. The wrens of Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand are not related and are not wrens. They belong to their own families. The New Zealand wrens are the Acanthisittidae, an ancient bird family. Meanwhile the wrens of Australia and New Guinea belong to the Maluridae Family, which includes fairy-wrens (Malurus), emu-wrens (Stipiturus) and grasswrens (Amytornis).

2. Firecrested wren is the common firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus), while golden-crested wren is the goldcrest (Regulus regulus). They belong to the Kinglet Family and are not wrens.

3. Antwrens (Myrmotherula and Herpsilochmus) are members of the antbird family (Thamnophilidae) of South America. Wren-babblers of South Asia are cupwings (the Pnoepygidae).

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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