Dried leaves rustle as a Carolina Wren pursues a large brown spider across a dry creek bed. The spider, seeking an escape, darts out of the leaves. Half way across the stream channel, exposed in the open, the spider freezes momentarily. The wren is on it immediately, grabbing it in its beak and shaking it repeatedly until all of its legs have fallen off. Without legs, the spider lays helpless on the ground. The wren rises up above the arachnid and, using its dagger-like bill as a pile-driver, repeatedly attacks the spider’s head and thorax. After pulverizing the spider’s head, the wren picks up the remains, which appear larger than its own head, and quickly swallows it belly first. Immediately after consuming the spider, the bird disappears into a greenbrier tangle above the creek bed.
It isn't enough to say that wrens eat spiders. They hunt them, track them, and completely mangle them before wolfing them down. It may not be a scene from nature that we see every day--but only because maybe we aren't watching closely. After watching this spectacle, I can't help but see wrens in a completely different light. If they were as big as cats, we wouldn't let our kids anywhere near them! If they were as big as horses we'd have to hunt them all down, like we did with saber-toothed cats!
Its a very cool world out there, when wrens attack! (image:wikipedia)
Late March Birding in Queens
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