Monday, 14 January 2008

Wrens

It has become clear that many people arrive on this blog looking for information on Wrens in general. Below is a rather naff blog on Wrens, however further information on Wrens can be found at the RSPB
or in the US Audubon Baby Wren
So on a very random note, I want to tell you a wee bit about my namesake.

Wren's are one of my favorite birds, they are the second smallest bird in the UK , but that doesn't stop them. Despite their size they are the most numerous bird in Britain.
This is partly down to the enterprising and hard working males in the spring time.....
I tell a story to (primary) school children about this:
The male Wren is a very clever chap, he builds at least three nests, before he has met even one lady Wren.
Once his nests are built, he goes off to find a female. He takes his new girlfriend to one of his nests and shows it off.
He says ...*full of pride* "Look at my lovely nest, I made it myself you know, don't you think it would look nice with some lovely eggs in it?" *wink*
She says ...*none committal* "Hmmm... I don't know.." *points at it* "that side looks a bit loose and the neighbourhoods very noisy"
So he tells her to come and see his other nest... and so on. Eventually she finds one she likes, and she lays her eggs in it and begins to brood them.
Meanwhile...off Mr Wren goes to find another young lady, who might just like his first nest, and so on..
Soon there are at least three females sitting on eggs, one in each nest.
Now this is all fine for Mr Wren.. until.. the eggs begin to hatch. Soon Mr Wren has three squeaking, squawking, tweeting nests full of hungry chicks to feed. You can guess just how much hard work that is! But before long, all being well, the youngsters fledge and leave, off to face the wide world.
Now why does he do this? Because he's very clever.
You see, he wants lots of children, so that the world will always be able to hear and see beautiful Wrens. But if something should happen to one of his nests... like a bad cat finding it... or a big storm bowing it away, he still has two lovely nests full of baby birds left,
and Wrens will always rule the roost and be the most common bird in the country.
......................................................
Its a simplified story, but essentially true, and shows that you don't have to be big to be clever.
If you want to help Wrens this winter, consider giving them a little food. They are insect eaters and as such rarely visit bird tables, but a little grated cheese, sprinkled along the bottom of the hedge (because they are shy) will be greatly appreciated.
Also consider a specialist Wren nest box, as they will roost in it in winter to keep warm, as well as nest in it in the spring. This is really important because they are so small that, sadly, hundreds freeze to death on cold nights.
Did you know the most Wrens ever found to be roosting in a nestbox was 63!
And I thought my house was a squash and a squeeze!

4 comments:

Hobbit Ripley said...

Today I put some cheese in the garden near where I think there is a Wren's nesting area... or at least, where they seem to hang out and party. Well, when I say put out, I mean that I stood at the back door and threw it as close to the hedge as possible, coz it was raining.

Also... I want to know what the SMALLEST bird is. Is it a baby Wren? ;-)

Alphonsus said...

I put out a couple of pizza slices. If they think that the cheese is awesome, wait until they try a whole pie. I don't know if there are wrens in Michigan, but something is bound to eat the pizza, and that can only be a good thing.

I'll probably get nothing but seagulls, but they need to eat,too.

Hobbit Ripley said...

[Hobbit puts his hand up excitedly]

Please Miss! Is it the Goldcrest? Tell me tell me tell me!!

Wren said...

Well done Hobbit! Gold star for you. *smiles*