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 House Wren

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for House Wren.

Use the links below to view the House Wren reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View House Wren sightings.
House Wren Archives Reports
Fall 2003 16
Spring 2003 39
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 7
Summer 2002 18
Spring 2002 48
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 5
Summer 2001 19
Spring 2001 34
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 19
Summer 2000 12
Spring 2000 50
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 4
Spring/Summer 1999 11

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: House Wren

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the House Wren
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
House Wren
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Troglodytes aedon
House Wren

First listed for Michigan by Fox (1853: 161).

The large series of House Wrens in the Museum of Zoology indicate that 2 subspecies occur in Michigan. Breeding specimens from the Upper Peninsula and from the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula (Troglodytes aedon parkmanii) are readily separable from those taken in the rest of the Lower Peninsula. The latter seem to show no important variation from freshly taken Atlantic Coast specimens of Troglodytes aedon aedon, although Oberholser (1934: 86-96) described a third form, Troglodytes domesticus [aedon] baldwini, to which he referred most southern Michigan specimens.

These wrens cannot be identified to subspecies in the field, but sight records from the Lower Peninsula indicate the time of arrival and abundance of the species.

SPRING.-Swales (1904: 41; and notes) noted House Wrens in the Detroit area by the latter part of April or early May; he recorded 10 on May 1, 1913. Arrival is usually reported in the Ann Arbor area in the last week of April, occasionally earlier; an individual was seen there by L. D. Case on April 14, 1938. N. A. Wood (1922: 32), in Berrien County, and Walkinshaw, in Calhoun County (1930 to 1940), have recorded arrival in the latter part of April, and Walkinshaw noted an individual on April 16, 1938. The species was seen at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 4, 2023 (1, by G. A. Ammann), and at Bay City on April 24, 1894, and April 21, 2023 (Barrows, 1912: 673). D. W. Douglass observed it at Sand Point, Huron County, usually after the first week in May (1931 to 1933).

FALL.-There are few fall records. N. A. Wood (1911: 110) saw 3 House Wrens on Charity Island, Huron County, the second week in September. Swales (1904: 41) noted 10 House Wrens near Detroit on September 8 and September 23, 1912, and usually recorded a few in the early days of October, listing 1 on October 13, 1907.

Troglodytes aedon aedon Vieillot Eastern House Wren

Common summer resident in the Lower Peninsula.

SPRING.-Specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken in late April and early May: 1 by Swales, in Wayne County, on May 5, 1907; 1 by F. H. Chapin, near Kalamazoo, on April 21, 1883; several in 1918 and 1920 by N. A. Wood in Berrien County, between April 29 and early May.

SUMMER.-Nesting is reported from mid-May to mid-August. At Ann Arbor Van Tyne found a completed set of 6 eggs on May 24, 1944. Near Quincy, Branch County, L. S. Miller (1926: 399) recorded an exceptionally late nest, from which the young left on September 7. N. A. Wood (1922:32) found this wren breeding in Berrien County, and Gibbs (1885: 7) noted it as a common summer resident in Kalamazoo County, where F. W. Rapp (1931: 31) found a nest with 6 eggs as early as May 11 (1902, in the vicinity of Vicksburg). Walkinshaw reported nests in Calhoun County between May 24 (1940, nest with 6 eggs) and August 17 (1934, 4 young leaving the nest). N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 305) noted several nests and broods of young in northwestern Huron County (nest with 7 young, June 27; nest with 2 young, July 31), and Chaney (1910: 278) listed the species as a common breeding bird in Mason County. The Eastern House Wren has been found breeding as far north as South Manitou (1940) and South Fox (1939) islands, Leelanau County, where L. D. Case and A. E. Staebler secured several June specimens (U.M.M.Z.).

FALL.-A number of specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken in the first 3 weeks of September: 1 by N. A. Wood, on Charity Island, Huron County, September 9, 1910; 1 by F. H. Chapin, at Kalamazoo, September 19, 1885; several by N. A. Wood, in Berrien County, in the last week of August, 1917; 1 by Leonard Wing, near South Haven, Van Buren County, September 19, 1931; and 1 by J. Claire Wood, near Detroit, on September 22, 1906.

Troglodytes aedon parkmanii Audubon Western House Wren

Common summer resident in the Upper Peninsula and the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula.

First recorded for Michigan by Oberholser (1934: 95).

SPRING.-Migrants are reported in the southern counties by late April or early May, in the Upper Peninsula by the first week of May.

Lower Peninsula.-Three specimens (U.M.M.Z. and Max M. Peet collection) have been taken in the Lower Peninsula: 1 by C. L. Hubbs near Ann Arbor on April 26, 1938, 1 by Max M. Peet near Ann Arbor on May 11, 1935, and 1 by C. J. Henry in Calhoun County on May 13, 1934.

Upper Peninsula.-At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson has occasionally reported arrival by the first week of May: he recorded 1 wren on May 2,1938, and 1 on May 4, 1939. Brodkorb saw 1 at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 20, 1936. On Isle Royale N. A. Wood recorded 1 on May 22, and collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on May 29, 1930.

SUMMER.-Eggs are found from late May to mid-July.

Lower Peninsula.-Barrows (1904: 81) found the species well-distributed on the Beaver Islands, Charlevoix County; a number of specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were secured there in 1937 (T. D. Hinshaw) and 1938 (Van Tyne and R. E. Morrill). Widmann (1902: 237) listed the species as common in Emmet County in the early part of July. It was also common and nesting in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937). At Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, Max M. Peet collected 2 specimens, July 6, 1932, and July 17, 1933; A. E. Staebler collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on July 22, 1938.

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 25) listed the species as a common nester on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County; at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, N. A. Wood (1914: 72) saw a few individuals and found a nest on July 18. Christofferson has discovered several nests at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, between May 24 (1938, 1 with 7 eggs) and July 17 (1937, 1 with 6 eggs). S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 187), recorded the species as an uncommon summer resident in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County. A few pairs nested at Whitefish and Silver lakes, Alger County (N. A. Wood, 1918: 14), and young of the year were seen at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, on July 13 (Gaige, 1914: 90). John L. George and B. L. Patterson saw a few of the species in the vicinity of Golden Lake, Iron County, in the summer of 1938; N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906:120) secured 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.), 1 on July 24 and 1 on July 25, in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County. N. A. Wood (1933: 731) listed the species in summer at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, and Walter E. Hastings recorded an individual on Isle Royale, July 27, 1929.

FALL.-Departure is recorded in late August and the first half of September.

Upper Peninsula.-Fargo saw an individual on Isle Royale, August 27, 1924; R. E. Olsen collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Little Girl's Point, Gogebic County, September 14, 1940, and Leonard Wing (1940: 187) collected 3 (U.M.M.Z.) at Bruce Crossing, Ontonagon County, on August 24, 1931. At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, Fargo recorded 1 on August 26, 1925; and near Deer Park, Luce County, R. E. Olsen collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.): 1 on September 3, 1938, 1 on September 5, 1936. On a few occasions Christofferson has recorded House Wrens at Blaney, School- craft County, after the middle of September: 2 on September 21, 1936, and 1 on September 26, 1932.

Lower Peninsula.-One record: a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) secured by L. D. Case near Ann Arbor on September 8, 1938.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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