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Hi Susan -- I live just north of you in Ladue.  I have Carolina and House Wrens each spring, with multiple nestings.  The Carolinas have never used a house.  They prefer (here, at least) a flower pot or hanging basket very close to the house, under cover (eaves, etc.) For the past 2 springs (starting early, in late March maybe) they have had 2 nestings in a begonia plant under an eave, sitting 3 feet from the ground on a table. They conceal it well. I water the begonia when mom's off the eggs. A VERY unusual spot was chosen for her second nesting...in our garage, at the very back, on a pile of rags on my husband's workbench!  When I realized what I thought was her ill-chosen spot, I conceded by leaving one of the garage doors cracked at all times.  She raised 5 beautiful little Carolinas! (well, 10, between both nests)
     House Wrens are cavity nesters.  They will check out every wren house in your yard, usually (I put up lots), and the male will place some sticks in several, letting the female choose "her favorite," then they finish building.  Yes, they'll also nest quite close to the house, but also out in the yard.  Good luck!
Linda Yust, Ladue, St. Louis County

Susan Eaton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I hope y'all are staying warm! I have a nesting box question.

For several years, I have put out 2 wren nesting boxes from Wildbirds
Unlimited, but the only inhabitants I've had was a pair of house sparrows
one year. This year, I have had several Carolina wrens around my yard
steadily for months now, and I'd really like them to move in this spring.
Does anyone have suggestions, such as ideal location, to place them and how
early should I put them out? Several years ago, my neighbors had a
decorative bird house on their front porch which had wrens (house wrens, I
believe) in it every year and the house was only 5 feet from the front door!

I have feeders with a variety of seeds, suet and fruit. I have several
large trees and some 10-foot tall viburnums and holly bushes in the yard. I
also have a bird bath and a pond for water. I realize that it may just be
luck when it comes to attracting nesting birds, but I was just wondering if
there's anything I can do to make things more inviting

Thank you in advance.

Susan Eaton
Kirkwood, St. Louis CO., MO
[log in to unmask]

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