Wren

Wren

Troglodytes trodlogytes

The pretty little wren, with its perky tail and piercing song, is the second smallest bird in Britain (the smallest is the Goldcrest).  It is easy to miss as it hops around bushes, roots and low branches searching for food.  And a cold winter can devastate the population, killing up to 80% of the wren population.   So many people are surprised to learn that the wren is actually one of the most common birds in the UK, with over 8 ½ million breeding pairs.

Description: The wren is only 3 ¾ (10 cm) long, and weighs under 13 gm.  It is reddish brown, with buff underparts, barred flanks and tail, and a clear white line above the eye.  It has a distinctive shape, with short upright tail, large feet and a fine, long bill.  The wren has a loud, rattling alarm call and a trilling song.  The wren is a territorial bird but will sometimes huddle together in large roosts (over 50 birds) to survive the cold winter weather.   

Nesting and breeding:  The breeding season lasts from late April to July, with usually 2 broods.  The male actually builds several domed nests of leaves, grass and moss in hollows in bushes, walls, trees or banks.  The female then choses a nest and lines it with feathers before laying 5-6 white eggs with red-brown freckles.  The nestlings hatch after about 15 days, and are fed by both parents, flying after about 2 weeks.

Where to see them

  • Wrens are one of the most widespread birds in Britain They occur everywhere except high mountains, and are most abundant in the south or west 
  • They are present all year round, supplemented by a few winter visitors from northern Europe  
  • Wrens like lots of low cover, particularly deciduous and mixed woodland. But they are also regularly found in farmland, moorland, parks, and gardens  
  • What they eat

  • Wrens eat a wide variety of insects, beetles, spiders and larvae 
  • They occasionally eat small seeds, and have been spotted paddling in shallow water to catch tadpoles and small fish
  • Wrens rarely move far from low cover, so can be hard to tempt to the bird table. Try scattering some dried mealworms or suet pellets on the ground close to shrubs  
  • Recommended Farbrook Farm foods: Dried Mealworms, Insect Suet Pellets, Premium Softbill Mix. 
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