Brown- or gray-plumed, lively and vocal, 10 species of wrens call North America their home, living everywhere from brushy woodlands, shrubbery, and marshes to rocky canyons and even deserts.
The Carolina wren is almost exclusively an insect eater in the summer. The widespread house and Bewick's wrens also have insect-rich diets. Most wrens search trees, shrubs, and vines for caterpillars, ants, millipedes, grasshoppers, flies, snails, and beetles.
Wrens generally raise more than one brood during the season, with six to eight eggs per brood. It takes a lot of bugs to fill all those beaks, so it's fairly easy to get these prolific birds to nest in your yard. They'll take up residence in nest boxes; in empty gourds, cans, and jars; and even in clothespin bags left on the wash line!
Photo: (cc) Paul Stein/Flickr
Continue reading: Learn how to attract beneficial insects to the garden.