Northern Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
(aka Winter Wren)
Winter Wren, Loch of Kinnordy, Angus, Scotland, July 2002 - click for larger image The Northern Wren is found throughout most of Europe with a disjunct population in the Far East. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. Many authorities lump it with Winter Wren T. hiemalis found in North America and refer to it as Winter Wren T. troglodytes. It inhabits a variety of habitats which provide it with low cover on which it can forage for the insects on which it feeds. It is usually seen foraging within a couple of metres of the ground.

It is the only wren found in Europe but like the rest of the wren family, which is found in the Americas, it is a loud and melodious singer and is usually heard well before it is seen. Its characteristic call is a single or double note sounding like large pebbles being knocked together.

Winter Wren, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2003 - click for larger image It is one of the smallest European birds at about 9 cms but it appears even smaller by its habit of sticking its very short tail up in the air. It has a fairly long, thin bill, a buffy supercilium and dark bars on its wings and flanks.

It scientific name means "cave dweller" and this derives from its habit of building its nest in a crevice or hole in walls, trees or steep banks.

Winter Wren, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, July 2007 - click for larger image There are 13 sub-species of Northern Wren in Europe one of which is the St Kilda Wren. Another is the Shetland Wren.
Winter Wren, Monks Eleigh, Suffolk, England, July 2007 - click for larger image
Winter Wren, Loch an Eilein, Scotland, June 2012 - click for larger image
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