Make a Wren House the Birds Will Love

The wren is a common bird in North America, and is well known for its complex mating song. Building a wren house will lure these little songbirds into your yard. And they'll be back year after year.

The Perfect Wren House
Wrens are known as "cavity" nesting birds, which means they look for a secure, enclosed space to build their nests. This trait makes wrens perfect candidates for a well-designed birdhouse. Some important points to consider when building or buying a wren house:

  • Materials - Your wren house should be made of a weather resistant wood like cedar, redwood or exterior grade plywood. Avoid wood that has been chemically treated to be water resistant. For a long-lasting wren house, the elements of your house should be connected with screws instead of nails. Screws will hold stronger and longer than regular nails.
  • Dimensions - The size of the entry hole is crucial to the success of your wren house. A too small diameter will limit the types of wrens that can fit into the house, while a hole that is too large, will allow entry for competing birds and predatory animals. The best size for a wren house entry hole is between 1" and 1-1/8" diameter. The base of your wren house should about 4" square and the walls should be about 8" high to create a properly sized nesting area. The entry hole should be about 3" to 6" above the floor.

The Design And Placement Of Your Wren House

  • Features - The roof of your wren home should slope slightly and project out over the entry to provide some shelter. Provide a pair of ¼" ventilation holes in the side walls of your wren house. Avoid perches as wrens don't use them and they could be used to help predators gain access to the nest.
  • Placement - Wrens like to have several options when selecting a nesting site. Consider placing several houses in your yard in various spots and at various heights of 6' to 10'. Wrens also prefer locations that are near trees or large bushes to give them cover as they enter and leave the nest. Wrens are also one of the few species of birds that will nest in hanging birdhouses; so consider hanging a wren house from a sturdy tree limb.
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