Jen Chandler

It is not long to go until the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (29 - 31 January) and we thought we'd feature one of the garden birds you may spot…the tiny wren!

Wren - Nature's Home reader Finbarr Carroll

Wren - Finbarr Carroll

This delightful photo was sent in by Nature’s Home magazine reader, Finbarr Carroll and shows the wren’s unmistakable erect, short, narrow tail.

If you've ever seen a wren, you will know that these birds are tiny. The wren is our third smallest bird (after the goldcrest and firecrest). It can weigh between 7-12g, even at the heavier end of the scale, this is around the weight of an AAA battery!

The wren is the most common UK breeding bird (see the latest State of UK Birds report), and they can be found in a variety of habitats, but most numerously in deciduous woodland.

Dainty diner

If you have a garden you may well encounter a wren here too, pecking around on the ground or under vegetation. Wrens are constantly on the move, searching for food and keeping inconspicuous to avoid predators as they flit quickly between branches in hedges, vegetation and crevices.

Wrens like to feed on insects and other invertebrates such as: beetles, spiders, flies (and their larvae), caterpillars and ants. They're also partial to a berry or two, especially around the autumn and winter when insects are not as easy to get hold of.

Another strategy used by wrens to get through the colder months is to snuggle down together at night to keep warm. Several may cram into a nestbox and once, 63 of these diminutive birds were found roosting together like this!


The voice!

For such a tiny bird, the wren has an impressive voice! The song is a wonderful, unmistakable high-pitched quick succession of whistles, which generally ends with a loud and distinctive trill, and can be heard some distance away. Check out the video below which shows a short recording of the wren’s call that you can use to help identify this impressive little creature.