Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

9-10cm

Appearance

The Wren is very small, one of the smallest of the region. The bill is pointed and the feet are reddish. Adults and juveniles are similar. It is mostly a deep, brownish red above with black barring, and buffish-white below. The tail is regularly held erect so it is higher than the head. The eye has a pale stripe, and the wings are wide with rounded ends.

Habitat

Widely distributed across a range of habitats in the region. Tends towards woods with a mix of trees, particularly those in close proximity to waterways. May also be found on agricultural land, moorland, cliffs, gardens and islands close to shore.

Character

Usually territorial, but during challenging winter weather, it may gather in roosts. Shuffles around in foliage and other places with cover, searching for something to eat. May sometimes move to a higher area to continue the search, and may even singe from a high perch. Flies rapidly and directly, and usually near to the ground.

Food

Diet includes beetles, spiders, flies and their larvae, moth caterpillars and ants. Occasionally goes into shallow water to reach insects, small fish and tadpoles.

Breeding

Male forms multiple hollows and the female chooses one to nest in. She lays 5 or 6 eggs toward the end of April and incubates them for around 16 days. Both parents feed the young, which can fly at about 15-19 days old, though they rely on their parents for 9-18 days more. Often two broods, and males may mate with two females.

Population

Majority of Wrens in the region do not travel far, though European birds, especially those in the north, are more likely to migrate long distances. There are approximately 8.6 million territories in the UK and up to 2.5 million in Ireland.

Observation Tips

The Wren's call is often a giveaway of its presence, considering it can be quite timid and mouse-like. They are widely distributed, and though they usually feed within vegetation, they often take a break on a perch, where they can be easier to observe.

Voice

Has a rattling 'tick-tick-tick' call. The song is loud, especially in relation to the Wren's size; the bird can shake as it sings, and the song is a warble which concludes with a trill.
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