Eurasian Wren, small brownish bird


Cute Wren… Funny name that this frail sparrow owes to its nesting cave. Close-up on one of the most small birds of Europe.

Cute Wren Identity Card

Belonging to the order Passeriformes, the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is the special one European representative of the troglodide family. The passerine has two North American cousins ​​with very similar characteristics (Troglodytes hiemalis and Troglodytes pacificus), now considered as cash distinct. The cute wren measures an average of 9.5 cm, with a wingspan of 14.5 cm and a weight of 9 g. It is one of the smallest birds in Europe after the different species of wren.

Brown plumage with fine streaks

The cute wren can be recognized by a body plump wearing plumage reddish brown Finely barred with black on the wings, back and tail. The underside is beige-buff with flanks streaked with pale and brownish. A long clear eyebrow overcomes his dark eye and his short tail often hangs out vertical. The sparrow has a thin, very pointed bill and strong pink legs. Males, females and juveniles look alike.

Eurasian Wren: rather sedentary

The Eurasian Wren lives in Europe, in North Africa and Asia. In areas with a climate temperate, it stays all year on its territory. Scandinavian populations descend to winter to the west or the South from the mainland from October to April. In the Maghreb region, the passerine can frequent the bottom of valleys above 1,200 m and climb to over 4,500 m in theHimalayas.

The Eurasian Wren, cave bird

The Eurasian Wren likes forests with a undergrowth rich in bushes and dead wood but also moors, parks and gardens with thick thickets. Adept at lunges, crevices and cracks, it owes its name to its place of life: its nest, often leaning against a rock face or a wall, evokes a habitat troglodyte. In winter, it approaches the banks of rivers (lakes, marshes, groves) which facilitate its search for food. In the cold season, the bird also frequents the approaches to houses and can spend the night alone in old abandoned buildings.

The cute wren, insect lovers

The sparrow goes on a diet insectivorous all year. It mainly consumes small preys such as spiders, opilions, butterflies, flies and their larvae captured by scratching the ground. On occasion, the Eurasian Wren do not disdain to eat mini-vertebrates such as fry of fish or amphibian tadpoles that it catches in streams. Taking its food ashore, the sparrow suffers from snow and its populations decline during severe winters.

Eurasian Wren: a ball of energy

The Eurasian Wren are constantly agitated, most of the time, to flush out their preys that he observes through the holes in the vegetation. This nosy person is constantly working to explore the ground, the piles of wood, the dead plants and the banks to flush out the arthropods Quarrelsome, the bird does not like competition from other congeners and sometimes initiates lively pursuits in the thickets. Despite its small size, it emits one of the songs the most powerful of European species. Perched on top of a shrub or hidden in the foliage, it produces vocalizations that can exceed 96 decibels.

The cute wren, a polygamist

The species practices polygamy, which explains why the male builds between 6 and 12 large nests arranged at strategic sites in his territory. Its lodging is located at low height in the hollow of a tree, the hole in a wall, in a rocky crevice, even on the ground in a heap of branches or a cubic meter of wood. The nest cup consists of moss, fallen leaves and twigs. The male then does to visit the different places to his partner who chooses the most comfortable and expresses his decision by lining the place of feathers and hairs. The other nests are used to accommodate a possible second laying, another female or to lure predators.

Breeding of the young: the male part-time

Between April and May, after mating, the female lays 5-7 eggs white speckled with reddish which it broods alone for a fortnight. In principle, both parents feed the chicks unless the male is busy defending the baby. territory or courting another partner. Young cute wren start to fly about 15 to 17 days after hatching but remain dependent adults for feeding for another two weeks.

Stable population for the cute wren

Because of’location nests at low height or on the ground, chicks and adults are very vulnerable to predators like the weasel or the domestic cat. Human activity (brush clearing) can also be fatal. The cold winter is also a danger for this small passerine bird, which then lacks food. However, its populations remain stable, even increasing in some regions. The species – protected by the law on the protection of nature of July 10, 1976 – is not considered threatened. Her longevity is 6 years old. By capturing insects, the Eurasian Wren is a good helper for the gardener. To attract him, all you have to do is leave him a jumble of plants in which he will feel at home. security.

Photo credit: Jonn Leffmann