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The Wren is an abundant bird in the British Isles. It is the commonest UK breeding bird, although it does suffer decline during prolonged, severely cold winters.

It is a similar size to the Dunnock, but the Wren has a perky tail and is less grey than the Dunnock. It is only slightly larger than the smallest bird in Europe, the Goldcrest.

Diet consists of, insects, beetles, and spiders, the Wren usually feeds close to ground. The song is a powerful voice for such a small bird. They sing from the lower branches, unlike the other song-master, the Robin who will perch on high brows to display his song.

The male builds several nests, each with a side entrance, and when the female has selected which one she prefers, he lines it for her to lay her eggs.

Quick Facts

First Record
8th Century

Forest, woodland, undergrowth

15 cm


10 cm

Status in UK
Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor

Conservation Status UK

Number in Britain
15 million

First clutches laid
Early May

Number of broods

Age at First Breeding
1 year

Egg Size
16x13 mm

Egg Weight

Clutch Size
5-6 eggs

16-18 days

15-18 days

Typical Lifespan
2 years

Maximum Recorded Age
6 years, 8 months

  • The Wren is the shortest but not the smallest British bird, although it does have the loudest song in comparison to its size.
  • The Wren population can diminish by 25% in a very cold drawn-out winter.
  • Wrens are one of our most copious birds with around 7 million territories in Britain.  
  • 1,400 Wrens weighs the same as a male swan.
  • The male builds from six to 12 nest, for the femmale to choose from.
  •  Only a few of the male Wrens help rear their young.
  • About 50% of males have more than one mate.
  • It is not uncommon for Wrens to have eight or nine fledglings from one nest.
  • Male Wrens sing all year round except when they moult.
  • It is frequently known as Jenny Wren.

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