December 17, 2020
The Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) is the only bird licensed to operate heavy machinery. OK, that's not true, I just like this particular photo! These wrens are pretty common on the east coast, and they're also the state bird of South Carolina. They're fairly easy to identify based on their white "eyebrows" and rich cinnamon-colored plumage.
If you'd like to attract Carolina wrens to your home during the winter, you can't go wrong with a suet feeder. They also like to nest in nesting boxes that contain dried grasses, particularly boxes that have slot-openings rather than round holes. They also like hanging out around brush piles.
These wrens are very sensitive to cold weather, and at the northern edge of their range, their populations tend to drop off after severe winters. However, like so many different animals, their northern range is continuing to gradually grow northward over time due to climate change.
One neat thing you might notice is two Carolina wrens that seem to be foraging together. It's likely you've found a bonded mating pair! Once these birds establish a pair bond, they remain together for the rest of their lives. In retrospect, maybe I should've saved this post for Valentine's Day...
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.
NEW: TRIVIA CHALLENGE
You've seen the posts. You've learned the facts. Now, it's time to prove you are a #BenInNature Mega Fan! The museum's education team has developed the #BenInNature Trivia Challenge to identify the most devoted fans out there! Everyone who successfully answers each trivia question correctly will be congratulated by having your own nature selfie posted to the museum's #BenInNature Mega Fan Photo Album on the official VMNH Facebook page! Learn more and download the trivia challenge today by visiting http://www.vmnh.net/research-collections/beninnature-trivia-challenge.
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!