Where do all the Wrens go? I only ever notice one at a time in my garden… that’s when I do spot them. Early morning or just before dark (I’ve found) is a good time to keep a lookout for this tiny, secretive little bird that has a pretty big mouth for its size… all the better to belt out that powerful voice with my dear!
If Little Red Riding Hood was out in the forest looking for this bird in Spring she is more likely to hear the Wren before she sees it. She needs to have one eye on the forest floor to catch a glimpse of this little bird... of course you'll know who her other eye is on the lookout for ;-)
Meanwhile back in our gardens... secretly, just like Jack climbing his Beanstalk, the Wren makes its way up and down through shrubs and bushes in a land where we are the Giants!
Oh… and that Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe… you know that one who had so many children she didn’t know what to do? Well, she doesn’t have the packed house that the Wrens do come Winter!
The BTO say the record number of Wrens seen roosting together in one box is a staggering 63! At just under half the weight of the (also small) European Robin, the tiny Wren chills much more rapidly than larger birds. Together they keep warm but in freezing weather many don’t survive.
It is fascinating to see this behaviour.
Note this video is over 7 mins long. You might want to scroll through it a little.
The Snow Queen isn’t kind to the Wren then? Oh no she isn’t… as when she covers the ground in her icy white carpet she also hides much of the food that the Wren eats like small insects and spiders. Like all other birds in winter, the Wren needs to eat lots to get enough energy to survive cold nights.
Ah… but Jack and his Ivy covered Beanstalk come to the Wren’s rescue in winter. Yes, deep in skyward bound Ivy growing in our gardens… treasure sits in wait for the Wren. Oh dear… Incy Wincey Spider doesn’t think this story has a happy ending!
Regular visitors to my blog will know by now that I like a good bit of storytelling! Tonight’s tales begin a series of introductions to the birds that visit my garden. I’m also hoping it will help those taking part with the RSPB Big Garden BIRDWATCH at the end of the month with ID’s.
Considering both veterans and newbies of the BIRDWATCH I thought I’d take a fun approach to what is essentially a serious matter of the conservation of our garden birds. I was especially thinking of the young families who may be taking part with the count… you’ve probably guessed that ;-)
Another secretive garden bird, The Dunnock, was to be my first introduction but late yesterday afternoon I spotted a Wren feeding around my (now snow free) small rock pool pond. It fed there for some time. I was able to get my video camera running as it ran and jumped back and forth.
Most unusually for this secretive little bird, it spent some considerable time out in the open. It can be seen characteristically bobbing up and down. It turns around and you can see it from the back too. It was hard editing back footage of this visit.
The key things my video of the wren will show is that (despite the first clip) this bird is hard to see. One minute you see it and the next it is behind or under something. It also moves about at a speed almost like it has no attention span at all. When the light is low it just blends into the background.
Shape wise the Wren is quite a round bird, with no neck, tiny wings and a short tail that sticks up into the air. It also has a pale stripe over the eye and light brown legs.
Being mainly an insect eater, the Wren has a long thin bill which is slightly curved and tapered... perfect for the job of pulling out hidden insects from the smallest of spaces.
Feeding wise the Wren is seen looking under things for insects. Notice how it follows the edge of the water. Let's take a look...
A few years ago, I saw the Wren in flight during the middle of the day. It was fascinating to watch as it went through the canes of my bamboo with its distinctive whirring flight not unlike a big bumble bee. It certainly caught my eye that day.
At the moment, I have an array of books around me open on pages with info on the Wren. I have enjoyed reading more about this tiny bird that I see only occasionally. I could add more stats etc but I myself am more interested in observing the character of birds that visit my garden. That’s what I hope I have succeeded in sharing with you tonight.
Enjoy the rest of your week :-D