HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Sometimes, you don’t have to look any farther than your own backyard to find fascinating wildlife.
Carolina wrens nest in my yard every spring, and they are notorious for selecting a variety of creative cavities as home sites.
On several occasions, they have chosen the grinning countenance of a large ceramic sun hanging on a wall in the backyard patio.
One summer, they chose a potted plant of Pentas. The colorful flowers provided a lovely home site and offered protective cover as you could barely discern the wren’s coming and goings.
Some years, they actually use the various birdhouses available, but most often they are not satisfied with such ordinary dwellings and seek out more unusual locations to raise their brood.
This year they have moved back into an old mailbox, and bugs are the only special deliveries being airmailed in.
The first parent to arrive at the newly labeled mailbox appears to carefully scrutinize the message, perhaps checking for spelling errors, before dropping in.
They actively scour the yard for a variety of insects and a tasty worm doesn’t last long with these peripatetic pest controllers on the prowl.
The appearance of a plump wiggler also attracts a resident anole. The lizard quickly grabs the prey, but as it begins to devour the worm the meal is suddenly snatched away by a wren.
This happens so fast that you have to put the theft in slow motion to see what actually transpires. Yes, just as the lizard starts to consume the big worm it suddenly glances down in alarm, and in a flash, the opportunistic wren seizes the prize.
You couldn’t have a better pest control team on duty than a duo of Carolina wrens, and I just wonder where they are going to nest next year.