HOUSTON -

The mail box at Eddie Stakes' home in west Houston is stuffed with twigs and sticks making up the wren's nest that's been there for several weeks.

This is not the first time the Stakes have had to put up an alternate mailbox for their mail. This is the fifth year the Wrens have made the mailbox in the Wrenwood Subdivision their own feathered maternity ward.

“The babies have been there about three weeks,” said Eddie Stakes. “They usually have between three to five eggs and they're baby Wrens. They're beautiful, about half the size of a sparrow.”

Stakes said their close proximity to the Addicks Dam means they see lots of wildlife all year round but this annual event has become special and they can tell when it's that time of the year.

“The momma wren appears and starts sitting on the edge of the mail box putting in twigs,” he said. “So when you pick up your mail, you notice that the mail is getting higher and higher so we say it's time to put the sign out that our regular mailbox is in use and put the secondary mailbox up.”

Wrens have a lifespan of about seven years so it is possible that the same wren comes back each year to give birth and raise her young. The Stakes family gets an up close view of the whole process but makes sure to only watch and not do anything else to counteract Mother Nature.

“We can't feed em,” Stakes said. "I think they just eat bugs. We just plain leave them alone. They've gotten used to us opening and closing the doors at all hours of the day and night and they co-exist with us.  It's pretty neat to see.“