A Tale of Two Wrens*

Note: Since publishing this post, I’ve learned that our feathered visitor is a House Finch not a House Wren. I’ve made changes accordingly.

As I walked up the garden path this morning I noticed a house finch sitting on the ground. Mouse the cat was just a few yards away so I had to think fast. I waited for the bird to take flight. Instead he fluffed his feathers and bobbed his head, but made no effort to move.

In a flash, Mouse shot through the bushes, aiming straight for the bird. In one fell swoop I scooped the bird in to my hands and lifted him off the ground to safety.

Now what?

I loosely cradled the finch in my hands, its soft wings fluttering against my skin.

house wren

Closeup of the house finch in my hand

The next five minutes are a bit of a blur, but I somehow managed to get Mike’s attention through the kitchen window and he came to assist. He secured the cat, assembled a cardboard box from the recycle bin and even managed a few pics from a safe distance.

I opened my hands to see if the bird would fly. He climbed on my finger and calmly perched to survey his surroundings. It was then I noticed that he couldn’t open one of his eyes. It didn’t look damaged, but it may have been what grounded him in the first place.

He eventually hopped from my hands to a low bush but leaving him there would mean certain death. I caged the little fellow in a cat carrier (oh the irony) and drove to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.  How lucky we are to have a place like this that will rescue, rehab and return animals and birds to the wild whenever possible.

The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley signage

The Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley

Later in the day when I had time to think I wondered if the injured finch might be my nightly visitor. Over the past thirty days, a male house finch returns at dusk and spends the night on the cord under the eaves.

I lingered outside till 5:20 willing my nightly visitor to return. I came inside with a heavy heart assuming the two finches were one and the same. Then moments later, I glanced out the kitchen window into the dark corner of the eaves and spotted his tail feathers under the eaves!

house finch under the eaves january 24

This house finch arrives at dusk to spend the night under the eaves

I’ll learn tomorrow the fate of the bird in the care of WCSV.

20 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Wrens*

  1. The times I’ve wished we had something like your wildlife centre near us. The best I could do when we had an injured fox in our garden was to call the local hunters to come and put it out of its misery.
    i’m so impressed by your lightening action, I do hope your little bird survives.
    Also, just wanted to say how cute you look in your snuggly top 😊

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  2. Congratulations on your mad wren-snatching skillz, dear Alys! And how very sweet of you also to take the little guy to the wildlife rescue clinic. I do hope they’ll be able to mend whatever is wrong and return him to the wild. In the meantime, how wonderful that you still have “your” little visitor to keep you company every night! I love how in-tune you are with nature and all her little creatures. ❤️

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  3. Well swooped Alys – now the little wren is safe I feel just a little sorry for poor old Mouse, stopped mid-pounce so to speak. Your eaves nesting wren is a bit of a hoot, it’s not the most chic of resting places. Perhaps he just feels safe around your energy 🙂

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  4. Glad your little night visitor is okay – cute photo of its feet!
    That first bird looks like it might be a House Finch and his eye issue is further evidence that it may be. House finches have had a hard time with a highly infectious eye disease, that has decimated many populations. If you have feeders, you might disinfect them with a bleach solution to ensure it doesn’t spread to others.

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  5. Good for you for the quick rescue. I second Eliza. It looks more like a finch to me and, be live it or not is a bit big and not nearly stripy enough for a wren (though there are wrens that aren’t stripy). If this is a common eye issue, I hope the wildlife center can help the little guy!

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  6. Such a delightful story, and I do hope the little one is okay. But it is difficult with birds, especially small ones. Mike’s resourcefulness was great too ~ team work! (I agree that you look pretty snuggly in your top!)

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  7. Oh snap! You got the moves Alys 😀 You’re such a dear to rescue and transport your feathered friend to safety. I think it must have instinctively known you wanted too help. So what then transpired hon? I must have missed the post from here to your garden one today. Will go back to look xoxox

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  8. I almost missed this!!! I’m so sorry I almost missed it. I agree with Pauline. They love your energy and feel safe with you. Thank goodness Mike was there to assist in the rescue. That is just a miraculous swoop if ever I heard of one. Wow! Keep us posted or have I missed that too? I’m still a little out of it.

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  9. What a heartwarming story, Alys. I’m glad on both counts–that you rescued the one little house wren, and then noting your special visitor is still making his home with you. You were definitely in the right place at the best possible time! I love these personal encounters with little wild things, but sorry for their distress. He looked quite calm in your capable hands, however. 🙂

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    • Hi Debra, I put off my replies on this post till I knew the outcome, but sadly it’s not good. This little finch had to be euthanized due to a contagious eye disease. I’m glad he’s not suffering or being bantered about by a cat but it’s sad nonetheless. The other visitor is looking well and still spending nights under the eaves. How is your little kitten?

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  10. Pingback: A Little Sorrow, a Little Joy – Gardening Nirvana

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