February 6th   Leave a comment

John Anderson took an exceptional photo of a wren a couple of days ago which made me reappreciate just how special they are. Wrens are everywhere around Crail. Wrens are one of the most abundant birds in the UK and there will be one in every Crail garden. I love seeing them on the beach, fossicking among the washed in creels or in Denburn, creeping through the vegetation like mice. But then their tiny size is contradicted by their feisty, tail cocking ticking if there is a cat about, and most especially by their song. They must have one of the loudest songs for their size of any bird. And it is a supercharged, hundred note to the second trill and warble: even slowed down it sounds in a hurry. Their nests are lovely too, tightly woven domes – they effectively make their own cosy nestbox. The only real drawback of a wren is its susceptibility to cold weather. Being tiny doesn’t lend itself to storing much fat, and they live fast requiring a lot of energy. During long cold winter nights many wrens die – although not this winter and not often in Crail where we have the shore for them to use as a last resort. You can see from the photo how short a wren’s wing is. The outer wing feathers are as short as the inner – on a migrant bird they are much longer. Even so some wrens do make some short distance migratory movements within the UK. Wrens in places like Siberia can be completely migratory to escape the cold and so have longer wings.

Wren – tiny but terrific

Posted February 6, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

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