How To Attract House Wrens To Your Yard (9 Helpful Tricks)


Bringing more house wrens into your yard isn’t very hard if you know what they like. You don’t even have to worry about setting up a lot of feeders, since they prefer insects. You can also use clean water and a lot of shrubby areas to draw them in.

Use our handy guide below to learn more about these and other tips for attracting house wrens to your yard.

9 Ways To Attract House Wrens To Your Yard

1. Provide Bird Baths

Clean water is a very important resource for birds of all kinds.

If you put a bird bath or two in your yard, house wrens will come to investigate. Once they associate your yard with clean, reliable water, they’re more likely to come back.

Your yard can also act as a safe haven for house wrens.

In the wild, birds are more vulnerable at water sources. It’s easy for predators to sneak up on birds as they focus on bathing and drinking.

Also, it’s harder for birds to fly away when their feathers are wet.

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By providing bird baths, you’re giving house wrens a safer source of water. Choose a bird bath that’s easy to clean in order to prevent bacteria build-up.

House wrens also find moving water sources more attractive than still basins.

2. Use “Pishing” To Attract House Wrens

There’s another trick you can try to attract house wrens when you’re checking on your bird baths.

Some birding experts recommend “pishing.” This is the act of making a “pssh” sound to draw in birds.

One study suggests that the sound mimics a bird’s predator call. This, in turn, makes other birds, like wrens, react with mobbing behavior.

The birds join and flock to where the call is coming from to protect each other from danger.

By making these “pssh” calls in your own yard, you may be able to attract house wrens. You don’t even have to go out of your way to do it.

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Simply perform the calls as you check on your feeders or change the water in your bird baths.

Watch this video to learn more about pishing and what it sounds like:

3. Feed House Wrens Peanuts And Suet

A house wren’s diet mostly consists of insects. They like beetles, caterpillars, and spiders, but also flying and jumping insects.

Because their diet is so heavily insect-based, traditional bird seed doesn’t hold much interest for them. However, few birds can resist a suet cage, and even a few peanuts might bring house wrens to your yard.

4. But Don’t Focus Too Much On Bird Feeders

Peanuts and suet are about the extent of what a house wren will eat from a bird feeder, though. So, you don’t have to worry about different feeders and seeds to attract house wrens.

Instead, focus on keeping your insect population high and occasionally putting out a few peanuts or suet. When it comes to food, house wrens are low-maintenance birds.

5. Avoid Insecticides

Few people enjoy a buggy backyard, but it’s actually a good thing if you want to attract house wrens. Insects are their main source of food, so keeping those bugs around is a good idea.

That means you should avoid using commercial insecticides in your yard. You’ll just be removing a vital food source for house wrens, which means they’ll be less likely to visit.

In addition, insecticides can be harmful to the wrens themselves, as well as other parts of the environment. Some forms can cause illness, reproductive issues, and even death in birds.

They also impact bee populations, which are a keystone species for the environment.

To attract house wrens to your yard, keep it pesticide-free and let the birds take care of your bugs.

6. House Wrens Need Spiders

Insecticides don’t just impact a house wren’s food supply. They can also hinder their nest building.

House wrens use spiders as food and also as nest protection. Sometimes, mites infest the nests of house wrens, which causes health problems.

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To combat this, house wrens actually use spider sacs when building their nests.

The sticky web helps with the structure of the nest, but the spiders themselves help, too. When the sacs hatch, they eat the mites. Then, the wrens can eat the spiders.

So if you have a few spiderwebs in the corners of your house or shed, think about leaving them alone. They can provide a lot of help in attracting house wrens.

7. Set Up Bird Houses

House wrens will nest in all kinds of areas, and they don’t mind nesting near humans. In fact, their name comes from their adaptability to human dwellings.

To encourage more house wrens, you can set up bird houses or nest boxes.

House wrens are secondary cavity nesters. They don’t make their own holes, but instead find ones that already exist, either naturally or from other birds.

By providing more spaces to nest, you can actually prevent house wrens from bullying other birds from their own nests.

8. Leave Leaf Litter

Leaving leaf litter isn’t a tongue-twister, it’s a great way to attract house wrens. Leaf litter refers to the layer of leaves, twigs, and natural debris that often covers forest floors.

It’s a good place for foraging animals, like house wrens, to find and even hide food.

House wrens like to dig around in the leaves to find insects like caterpillars and beetles. By covering part of your yard with leaf litter, you can create a sort of hunting ground for visiting wrens.

It also mimics their natural environment, making your yard even more attractive.

9. Plant Shrubby Areas For House Wrens

Another way to mimic a house wren’s natural environment is to plant lots of shrubs and bushes. This gives them even more areas in which to forage and can create a sense of safety.

House wrens use shrubby areas to hide from predators. It also gives them plenty of materials they can use to build their nests.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Is The Best Time To Attract House Wrens?

House wrens are common throughout all of the United States, but only at certain points of the year.

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They spend their breeding period in the middle and northern parts of the country. The best time to attract them in these areas is between late April and early September.

Then, they’ll migrate back to the southern parts of the country for the winter. If you’re in the south, look for house wrens between September and April.

How Do You Get Rid Of House Wrens?

As interesting as house wrens are, they can be somewhat aggressive towards other birds.

You may find that your yard is attracting too many house wrens. If so, here are a few quick tips to get rid of some of them.

First, remove any old nests and clear your yard of any debris to discourage foraging.

If you want to keep your nest boxes for other birds, you don’t have to remove them completely. Instead, try moving them away from the shrubby areas house wrens like.

In Summary

Since house wrens are so common in the U.S., it doesn’t take much to attract them. Rely on insects instead of traditional bird seeders for food and provide shelter with shrubs and bird houses. Don’t forget to offer clean water and the occasional peanut treat, too.

With these 9 tricks and tips, you can have a yard full of house wrens.

Get Our FREE Bird Feeder Cheat Sheet
Want more birds in your backyard? Get simple tips on attracting feathered friends and maximizing your bird feeding setup. Our free cheat sheet has got you covered!
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James Goodman

James is a native Texan with a love for birding and outdoor adventures. When he's not birdwatching, you can find him hiking, camping or playing the piano.

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