Wren: Comprehensive Definition.
|Wren: Comprehensive Definition.
What is a Wren?
Size and Appearance of the Wren:
The wren is one of our smallest native songbirds and is hardly confused in appearance. The reddish-brown dorsal feathers, identical in males and females, allow it to search for food well-camouflaged under hedges and shrubs. The breast feathers are gray, and above the eyes, there is an elongated, light-gray stripe.
What sets it apart from all other birds is its compact body with a short neck and a likewise short, steeply upright tail, whose feathers exhibit a dark cross-banding. The body length is approximately 9.5 centimeters regardless of gender, with a wingspan ranging between 13 and 15 centimeters. An adult bird weighs around 10 grams.
The wren moves almost exclusively near the ground in dense thickets, where its preferred animal food sources await. Flowerbeds, shrubs, and hedges serve as a refuge from enemies. It typically flies low with very rapid, powerful wing beats interrupted by short gliding phases.
Voice and Song of the Wren:
Small but mighty perfectly describes the wren and its voice. Its loud, trilling song is especially heard in spring. Its vocal volume has earned it a place among the loudest songbirds in Europe. Its warning call is also typical, a quickly repeated tek-tek-tek that sounds like winding up an old alarm clock.
Migration Behavior of the Wren:
The wren has learned to adapt perfectly to its immediate habitat. Depending on the climate zone, populations may exhibit partial migration (in Central and Southern Europe), with a substantial portion remaining in their local breeding areas. In the far north, they live as migratory birds. In North Africa and North America, however, the wren is considered a resident bird.
Where does the wren live?
The wren appreciates any habitat that can provide ample retreat options and various hiding places for itself and its brood. Hedges, shrubs, and forests with deadwood are highly welcome to the wren. It prefers to settle near standing water. It also utilizes fallen trees and their root systems as a habitat.
The behavior of the Wren:
The active wren is a highly active visitor in local gardens. It also likes to come to the feeding house in winter. In the cold season, when its favorite foods are scarce, it has come to appreciate its proximity to humans. Nevertheless, it is cautious and often quickly stops by "for a bite" before disappearing again into the protective hedge. The wren is diurnal and crepuscular. In winter, it primarily eats smaller and soft grains and berries, such as raisins or oat flakes. It cannot bite harder seeds with its delicate beak.
Mating and Offspring of the Wren:
The wren couple usually breeds twice a year, each time laying five to seven small, white eggs. Nest building is the responsibility of the male. It is highly motivated and builds several nests. Popular locations include abandoned nests of other bird species, wall crevices, hedges, and dense bushes. The nests are spherical and constructed from leaves, twigs, grass, and moss, with a side entrance.
After completing the work, the male lures the female to the nest with its song. If she likes what she sees, she lines the nest with feathers and lays her eggs in it. Particularly successful males can persuade two or more females to lay and raise their offspring in the nests. The incubation period is typically 14 days. The young become fledglings after 16 to 17 days and are completely independent after an additional one to three weeks.
What does the Wren eat?
Wrens prefer animal food. Ants, aphids, caterpillars, larvae, and spiders are especially on the menu for both parents and fledglings. The pointed beak also allows the Wren to catch tadpoles from ponds and puddles. If there is no animal protein available, they also eat small berries. At the winter feeding station, they happily consume small seed kernels. If you want to support the Wren in your garden during the winter, it will particularly appreciate mealworms and oats.
Threats to the Wren:
With a current total population of approximately 200,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 individuals, the Wren is considered not endangered. Very cold, harsh winters can locally thin out the populations. However, due to successful breeding behavior, these setbacks are usually well compensated. The conservation of its species, like many animals, is linked to the presence of adequate habitats. Overly thinned forests with little undergrowth and intensive agricultural use of areas that do not allow for hedges and thickets can at least limit the habitat of the Wren. However, it is also considered adaptable and capable of learning, which benefits its population conservation.