Don Balke: House Wren
Artist: Don Balke
When spring arrives, the cheery House Wren cannot be far behind. The male will arrive first and announce his presence with a torrent of liquid notes delivered with such vigor one can scarcely believe they are the song of such a tiny, drab creature. This delightful songster is a habitual nest starter. Moving from tree to tree, he will stuff straw and twigs into every cavity he finds. Whether this is done to mark his territory or as an inducement to potential mates is unclear. However, once he has won a female's favor, he will escort her to his various nest starts in a sort of house-hunting tour. Almost without exception, the female will scorn the eager male's nest building efforts. When she finally selects one of his sites, she will rip his foundation out and begin anew with an odd assortment of hairpins, nails and safety pins and whatever else she can locate nearby. The rejection of the nest-start brings the male to raging anger and the couple will often fight with fury while the nest is being built. Despite all the distraction, somehow a suitable home is erected. Throughout the birds' early days together, one wonders if all the trouble is worth it. It is. The drive to feed and care for young birds is so strong with the House Wren males that if they do not find a mate and raise their own young, they have been known to work tirelessly feeding not only the young birds but also the parents of other species.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® Commemorative Cover for the limited edition collection of The Songbirds of the Fifty States. Each cover was postmarked on the anniversary of statehood in the appropriate state capital.
Artwork Copyright © 1981 Unicover Corporation. All Rights Reserved under United States and international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, distribute, transmit, or otherwise exploit the Artwork in any way. Images of the Artwork may be watermarked and/or digitally watermarked. Any sale of the physical original does not include or convey the Copyright or any right comprised in the copyright.
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