Have Wheels, Will Travel

Once upon a time a mama and papa Carolina Wren searched for a place to build a nest. There were many places to choose from on the farm but finally, they found the perfect spot….

The spare tire on the cattle trailer is fastened firmly to the side of the trailer forming a well protected spot inside the rim of the tire.

Quietly and unnoticed, they built their nest and hatched a clutch of four baby wrens.  All was going well until Monday morning at 7 a.m. when Mr. Farmer loaded  calves to take to the stockyard in Lynchburg.  By 9, Mr. Farmer was on the road and did not arrive home until 4 p.m. The trailer was parked back in its normal spot.

Today, Gene and his buddy, Wray, hauled two finished bulls to Fauquier Butcher Shop in Bealeton which is a two hour drive one way. Gene loaded the trailer at 7 this morning and parked the truck and trailer out front of the house until 11 when they hit the road. When they stopped for lunch in Orange at Burger King, Wray noticed that he was hearing birds chirping and they sounded close by but he didn’t think much about it or say anything. When they got to the butcher shop, he realized he was still hearing a lot of chirping. Suddenly, he saw the very upset nest of baby birds looking out of the wheel well wanting food and mama!

It was 4:30 until they arrived back home. Gene pulled the trailer back to its normal parking spot and immediately mama and papa wren set up a big fuss and ruckus. They chirped and chattered loudly and flew in and out of the nest in a frantic search for food for their squawking younguns.

Their nest is tucked in the corner on the left, but these younguns were at the door mad as a hornet and crying for food.

I checked on them two hours later and the babies were sound asleep in the nest but Mr. and Mrs. Wren were close by watching closely. My presence did not go unnoticed!


I wonder, what did Mr. and Mrs. Wren do when the babies disappeared? Did they see them go? Did they attempt to follow? Did they figure out they were parked out front several hours? Did they spend the day mourning their loss? Obviously, they immediately knew when they were back.

I am amazed the babies survived almost two days (Monday and Wednesday) without food for such a long period of time. After traveling almost 400 miles, they now have a story to tell: “We have wheels and we will travel!”

Post note:

I did an internet search and discovered that it takes only 12-14 days for Carolina Wren’s to fledge (leave the nest) from the time they hatch. By Sunday (three days), they were gone. Looking at the pictures that is incredible to me that in three days they were ready to be on their own.

Leave a Reply