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Bird of the Month: Wren

Regulars | By John McEwen | August Issue


'The exuberant song is in keeping with its jaunty, up-turned tail: a torrent of lisped riffs with a linking brrrrrr'

The charm of the wren (Troglodytes troglodytes, ‘cave dweller’) has earned it its ‘Jenny’ nickname and made it the emblem on our prettiest coin, the Victorian-designed farthing (withdrawn in 1960). One July morning, I was greeted by a barrage of wren song, and this in the treeless depths of Olympia. At that otherwise songless time of the year, it was perhaps a newly-fledged brood finding their voices; a forceful reminder that it is our most ubiquitous bird, as at home in the concrete jungle as the wilderness, and has the most powerful song of diminutive songsters – per unit weight, ten times stronger than a cockerel’s crow. Moreover, it sings throughout the year, unlike most songsters, and females sing a little too.  The exuberant song is in keeping with its jaunty, up-turned tail: a torrent of lisped riffs with a linking brrrrrr, loud enough to pierce the roar of traffic...

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