Today, I welcome back my colleague Conor Jameson. I remembered that Conor had written about the wren in his great book, Silent Spring Revisited, and so asked him to be its champion. He kindly said yes and below he offers his argument for why you should vote for the wren in the Vote National Bird campaign.
"A dingy London street at first light: cold, quiet and overcast. Piercing the gloom comes a volley of birdsong, an improbable spark in the damp. It rings across the street, richocheting off parked cars, block-paved front gardens. I’ve just returned from working in the tropics, with all its colour and forest noises, but there’s something very special about this familiar, effervescent trill. It’s the song-explosion of a wren, tiny and unseen, but irrepressible. My spirits soar. It is springtime. I am home."
I wouldn’t claim that any one birdsong is better than another. I cherish them all, but I’m backing the humble wren in David Lindo’s National Bird poll. First and foremost it’s just that I’m always cheered by this wee bird, one of the smallest of them all.
For more democratic reasons I’d propose that because the wren is found virtually everywhere on these islands, from mountain top to city centre to offshore islet, it is a bird with which we can all be familiar; if we know what to look - and listen - for.
I admire the male wren for his energy, often building several nests and letting his partner choose the best one. Both parents then work flat out to feed a large brood of tiny offspring, which spill out of the coconut-scale ball of stems.
I like that wrens are feisty and independent, but sociable when it’s smart to be so. Dozens will cram into a winter hidey-hole to keep warm overnight.
But what clinches it is the sheer joie de vivre, the lustiness of this tiny bird’s vocal performance. And the fact that it will pop up and give you this blast of spirit-lifting song any time of year, any place. A vote for the wren is a vote for the small, the commonplace, the little guy with the big heart – and the big lungs.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654