Carolina wrens are really in-your-face out there kind of birds. They are territorial and pretty fearless. They are amiable, though and friendly. I have had them nesting in my garage where I had to leave the garage door opened 4 or 5 inches so they could get in and out if I had no plans to open it otherwise any given day. Their babies  fledged and then I could have it operate normally.

So I was working at my computer this week, it was a beautiful day and I had doors and windows open to enjoy the fresh, fall air. My dogs were dozing nearby. I heard a soft *thunk*, the dogs raised their heads, cocked their ears. I walked into the bedroom down the hall and saw a brown flash darting across the ceiling.

Carolina wren.

If you know a birder these are also known as “lbj”s. This familiar term includes sparrows and any other small “little brown job” bird. These birds are quick. This bedroom isn’t overly large so I figured I’d be able to catch this bird in a few minutes.


I turned off the ceiling fan and the bird flew over to the top of the window frame.


From there it got pretty clever. Under the dresser, behind the bookcase, under the beds, behind a picture still waiting to be hung on a wall, behind the bed headboards, on a wall shelf, behind a plant –at this point I figured I had him… he could not see me behind the plant pot, or so I thought. Just as I had my hands positioned to close over him he dashed out again.

Describing this it sounds like mere moments but no, this went on for nearly an hour. I began to understand how a shepherd feels when one of his sheep wanders off then, enjoying its imagined freedom, refuses to allow itself to be captured until exhaustion from running and evasion it gives up to the safety of the watched-over flock.

I don’t know whether or not this bird was becoming over tired, I know I was, but it flew between the slats of the window blinds and I reached over and closed the blinds. It hopped back and forth and I cornered it on one side, placing my fingers between the blinds so I could hold it by its legs. It was suddenly still.

I walked outside with this bird, eyeing me the entire way. Once outside I opened my hand so it sat on the flat of my palm. It continued to look at me almost daring me to touch it again.

And then it flew away.