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Wren, Identification, Habitat and Food


20th August 2013

Wren, Identification, Habitat and Food


Length: 9cm.

The Wren is easily recognised by its small, round, plump shape and its distinctive small tail which is almost continuously cocked up. Its brown colouration is paler on the under parts. It has dense dark bars on its wings, flanks and tail. The young are like the adults but have fewer bars.

The Wren is lively and is constantly on the move. It hunts for insects among leaves on the ground, in cracks in bark of trees. It sometimes flies for a short distance in pursuit of its prey. Its flight is direct and it launches itself with powerful wing-beats. They live alone or in pairs during the nesting season. During courtship it fans out its wings and tail.


They emit a loud slightly tremulous ‘teet-teet-teet’, or a repeated ‘tee-tee-teech’. Its song is powerful, considering its size, and consists of clear and vigorous trills which are often sustained.


Breeding starts in late April, onwards. It nests in almost any type of hollow or cavity from ground level upwards, but prefers the side of a tree, a steep bank or a wall, up to a height of three metres. The nest is built by the male, as he is often polygamous, he may build a number of nests and install females in them. The nest is a stout dome structure made of leaves, grass and other plant material, which the female lines with feathers.

Five to eight eggs are laid (occasionally up to sixteen). These are glossy white with very fine, dark spots. The female incubates for fourteen to seventeen days. Both parents tend the young.


The wren likes a wide variety of habitats, which provide low cover, including hedgerows, cultivated land, reed beds, woody areas, rocky coasts and small islands.

Natural Food

They eat insects, spiders, seeds and larvae.

Where to Feed

Feeder – Not suitable

Table – Covered

Ground – Scatter food near cover