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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Science and Nature

Birds - The Wren Who Lost His Mate

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
Birds…. BIRDS. – The following anecdote I relate on the authority of Wilson: - “A box,” he says, “fitted up in the window of the room where I slept, was taken possession of by a pair of wrens. Already the nest was built, and two eggs laid, when, one day, the window being open, as well as the door, the female wren, venturing too far into the room, was sprung upon by my cat, and destroyed. Curious to know how the surviving wren would act in the circumstances, I watched him carefully for several days. At first he sang with great spirit.

This continued for an hour or two. After this, becoming uneasy, he went off for an hour. On his return, he changed as before, and went to the top of the house, stable and weeping-willow, so that his mate could hear him; but, seeing nothing of her, he returned once more, visited the nest, ventured cautiously into the window, gazed about with suspicious looks, his voice sinking into a low, sad note, as he stretched his neck in every direction. Returning to the box, he seemed for some minutes quite at a loss what to do, and soon went off, as I thought, altogether, for I saw no more of him that day. Toward the afternoon of the second day, he again made his appearance, in company with another female, who seemed exceedingly shy, and though not until after a great deal of hesitation, entered the box. At this moment the little widower seemed as if he would warble his very life out with joy. They afterwards raised a brood of seven young ones, all of whom left the nest at the proper time, in safety".