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10 proven ways to attract wrens to a bird house

Mackenzie Gary


Attract wrens to a birdhouse, yard, garden birdfeeder, water bath

Wrens are small birds. They have a beautiful aesthetic look. Being one of the most common birds in the yard, everybody wants to attract them to the birdhouses. Especially birders want to observe their behavior,

Having wrens in the yard enrich the mood. Watching them fly, feeding, and bathing in the water has a different feel that only bird watchers can experience. There are 10 steps you can follow to attract wrens to the birdhouse

  • Attract wrens by food
  • A suitable location is necessary
  • The birdhouse should be ideal
  • House Hole should be small
  • Place water bath
  • Grow bushes and trees in your yard
  • Clean house every year
  • Provide nesting material
  • Add more birdhouses
  • Avoid predators

Remember wrens are aggressive birds. They destroy the neighboring nests and clutches of other birds especially bluebirds. If you are planning for other birds to nest, place the birdhouse at least 25′ apart.

There are some other factors due to which these little creatures fearing to nest in your provided box. Read this blog carefully to avoid any mistakes.

How to attract wrens to a birdhouse? (10 steps)

Give close attention to these factors and tips. It works almost for everyone

Provide them food

Food is the best way of attracting any bird to your desired location. Wrens feed on insects tiny spiders, larvae, beetles, suet blends, bark butter, sunflower chips cricket, bugs, caterpillars, mealworms, moths, flies, peanut butter, peanut heart, and suet.

If they don’t get their primary food (Insects), they will go for seeds, nuts, and berries to eat. Offer these types of foods, your first step would be completed. So how to serve them?

DO wrens need a bird feeder? They can feed on tray feeders or any plane plate available. Just place the tray on the ground and serve the food. They can also feed on mealworm feeders hanging in the garden.

Tray or any plane surface can solve your problem. But If you want an ideal feeder that saves your time and boosts your eating experience you can look for our choice.

This feeder not only attracts wrens but also other insect-eating birds such as bluebirds and woodpeckers. You can only place mealworms or any large seeds.

Place the food where it is visible to them. If there is hot weather, avoid any location visible to sunlight. Go for a shady area. You can place it near the shrubs, close to trees, or (on the ground if not have a hanging feeder).

This is done to ensure the bird that here he would have easy access to food. So. it makes him think that this is an ideal nesting place. it’s up to you whether you feed him or not after he chooses your box to live.

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Birdhouse should be Ideal

Wrens are one of those birds who choose man-made birdhouses to live in. They don’t hesitate to live. All they need is the ideal place that suits their natural habitat.

What should you look before buying a wrens birdhouse?

Before buying a wrens house look for

  • There should be no Perch
  • Height of the wren house
  • Dimensions of the floor
  • Color of the house
  • There should be ventilation and drainage holes
  • The roof should be A-shaped


Some newbies choose nest boxes that have a perch outside the entry hole. Their main purpose is to provide the bird full ease. Is that worth it?

Wren houses should not have a perch. Wrens can easily enter or leave the box without any difficulty. Perches can allow the predators and other birds to enter the nesting box effortlessly.

Squirrels and woodpeckers are the most common predators that can find the way to nest by having perch.

What color should a wren house be?

Color doesn’t have much influence on choosing the nesting box. In an experiment, there are 5 colored houses given which include red, green, blue, white, and yellow. Out of 98 birdhouses, the wren preferred red and green the most.

Colors of houseNumber of times wren chooses the house
Color of house preferred by wrens

This table shows red and blue are more preferable to others. But it doesn’t mean they refuse other boxes. Colors don’t have much influence. Location is the main concern.

You should go for wood that is resistant to decay. The wooden color texture is more helpful in attracting wrens.


The larger house tends to attract predators. The ideal height of a birdhouse should be 6-8 inches in height, the floor should be 4 inches square.

Height: Wrens can live in larger houses having more in height. But the problem is their kids. Smaller height nests may cause the babies to fall out. While larger height can cause difficulty for them in stepping out. This may cause them to trap inside. Measure the height of the hole from the floor.

Floor space: It should not be shorter than 4 inches. As they nest for laying eggs. One clutch may have 3-10 eggs. It can be overcrowded in a shorter space. Eggs hatched in 12-15 days. This causes more complications. More space provides them comfort and keeps them warm.

Ventilation and drainage holes

There must be a proper system of ventilation. the recommended wholes are 1/4 inches. The same size of the hole should be at the bottom for drainage of rainwater.

Height6-8 inches
Floor4 inches
Ventilation holes1/4 Inches
Main hole 1 1/8 to 1 1/2 
Wren house dimensions

Entrance hole should be small

Bigger whole tends to attract other birds such as sparrows that can attack their eggs and nest there. You should choose a box having 1-1/8″ dimensions. This size is also ideal for chickadees and nuthatches.

Recommended wall mounted wren house

Recommended hanging wren house

Location of the box

Location is one of the main factors that influence their living. Wrens can nest anywhere in the backyard. Mostly they prefer the center or at the border of the yard.

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It should be at the height of 5-10 feet above the ground. The ideal length should be 5 feet. They prefer a house having partially shadow and sunlight. For best location scroll below section

Attract by water bath

Just like humans birds also choose the place to live where they get the basic necessities of life. They need water and food. If they have easy access, they look for a nearby place to nest.

Placing a water bath in the yard will attract the wrens. They will come for drinking water. As these birds are here, they will surely find a nest closer to it. As we already placed a birdbox, The male will put some twigs inside the box.

There are many birdbaths from which you can choose. You should look for simple and open shapes. Remember to change the water daily and clean it. Dirty water can spoil their health

Birdbaths will also attract the other birds that are worth watching such as bluebirds, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds too. This would be an aesthetic view of watching several types of birds and listening to their refreshing sounds for a birdwatcher.

Grow small shrubs

Having shrubs and small trees around the birdhouse give them a sign of safety. Some wrens don’t mind living closer to humans but some prefer closer to shrubs.

By Placing boxes near plants, they have free access to insects on which they can feed easily. DOn’t use pesticides on shrubs and plants. This will harm the birds and their food (insects) too.

They prefer the area having covered around. They do so to prevent the access of predators and other environmental factors such as heat and light. You can place the box in the branches of trees or hand it with the trunk.

Clean house every year

The old old house is filled with nesting material.IF it is not cleaned for the next season, several bacteria, fungi can grow. These microorganisms can cause disease the nesting birds.

Moreover, the bird may not nest in the box. It is a good idea to clean the house every year. The best time to clean the house is when the fledglings leave the nest. It is usually in autumn time.

How to clean a wren house?

To clean a wren house follow these steps

  • Open the box
  • Remove the nesting material
  • Clean the house with cloth
  • Use any spray cleaner
  • Use a scrub to scrub inside
  • Wash with water
  • Dry it
  • Close the wren house and place it back

Do wrens return to the same nest? If the location of the birdhouse is not changed there is a probabilty that the wren returns to the same nest. About 1/4 or 1/3 choose the previous box.

The male may add a thin layer of nesting material again

Add more bird houses

For nesting, male birds do some effort. He returns before the female and searches for the nest. IF he is single he chooses almost as many as 12 different sites and put sticks in the holes

Female wren chooses only one nest she likes the most. Placing more houses in the yard can increase the chance of attracting wrens to the birdhouse in your yard.

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The recommended distance between two nesting wren houses should be 100 feet.

Keep predators away

Dogs and cats are almost in every house as pets. They are also the predators of these tiny birds. Keep them away. A dog barking and chasing the birds in the garden can fear them.

Dogs can damage the feeders. They can make a very unwelcome situation for the birds

Where to hang a wren house?

Nest placement plays a crucial role. Placing good-quality homes at the wrong location can make the wren stay away. Here are the perfect guidelines that help them to attract to your birdhouse

  • Place the house where it gets partial shade and sunlight. A combination of both is loved by them
  • Look for a place that is covered with shrubs and trees. They prefer the area where they can get food and protection.
  • The hanging height of the wren nest box should be 5-10″.
  • It should not be hung towards the prevailing winds. Winds may cause cold to the youngsters
  • Make sure dogs and cats don’t have access to the box
  • The noisy and busy areas should be avoided
  • Attach the box with the string in the air. It keeps the other predators (squirrels) away.
  • You can attach to the bark of the trees or any man-made structures.
  • If there are other wren birdhouses, keep them 100 feet apart. For less space, 20-50 feet may work too

Don’t place it near electrical lines as there are chances of hazards

What direction should a wren house face?

Wren house should face away from the prevailing winds. It should not get direct wind as it will provide more protection in bad weather. In the US, the East direction is common.

In the united sates, winds blow northwest mostly. BIrds like to face in the rise and fall direction of the sun. Sunrises in the east in America. So placing the entrance of the house in the east can attracts more and chances of habitation increases.

Helpful questions

What month do house wrens nest?

Wrens nest in the middle of May and lay eggs in early June in Newyork. In the UK breeding starts in late April and onwards. The Male built the nests and the female chooses one.

The incubation period is about 16 days while the nesting period is about 15-17 days

What kind of bird houses do wrens like?

Wrens like houses that are small and have covered around. They look for the box which is closer to food and water. Carolina wrens prefer a house that is more hidden than exposed.

Will other birds use a wren house?

Chickadees, titmice, sparrows can use wren house. Bigger holes can attract the sparrows. You can use small entrances to prevent predators.

Wrens can use bluebird house. Even in many cases they attack their nest boxes and destroy eggs. It is recommended to keep both of their nests apart. Mount Bluebird Houses At Least 50 Feet Away From Heavily-wooded Areas.