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Wren family, Troglodytes   

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes
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Troglodytes is a genus of small passerine birds in the wren family. These wrens are around 11–13 centimetres long.
They are brownish above and somewhat paler below, with strong legs. Their short rounded wings and frequently cocked
tail have a dark barred pattern. The flight is direct and buzzing.

Troglodytes wrens are mostly found in somewhat cooler habitats than most of their relatives. Most of the species are
found in the mountains from Mexico to northern South America.

Five species are found in temperate latitudes:
The House Wren occurs widely in both tropical and temperate lowlands, but is frequently split into several species.
Until recently, the hardy Winter Wren was believed to have a wide distribution in North America, Europe and Asia,
but it has recently been split into three species, of which the Eurasian Wren is the only wren of any genus found outside
the New World. The Cobb's Wren of the Falkland Islands is another species which tolerates harsh conditions well.

Like other wrens, they are elusive as they hunt for small insects and spiders, but they readily reveal their positions
through their loud songs.

These are territorial birds, but the tiny Winter Wren will roost communally in a cavity in cold weather to help conserve heat.

English Norsk Latin
(Northern) House Wren Hussmett Troglodytes aedon
Cobb's Wren Falklandssmett Troglodytes cobbi
Santa Marta Wren Santamartasmett Troglodytes monticola
Ochraceous Wren Okersmett Troglodytes ochraceus
Rufous-browed Wren Rustbrynsmett Troglodytes rufociliatus
Tepui Wren Tepuismett Troglodytes rufulus
Socorro Wren Socorrosmett Troglodytes sissonii
Mountain Wren Andessmett Troglodytes solstitialis
Clarion Island Wren Clarionsmett Troglodytes tanneri
Winter Wren Gjerdesmett Troglodytes troglodytes

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes  
Winter Wren
En. Wren, Da. Gærdesmutte, Du. Winterkoning, Fi. Peukaloinen, Fr. Troglodyte mignon, Ge. Zaunkönig,
It. Scricciolo, No. Gjerdesmett, Sp. Chochín, Sw. Gärdsmyg

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The Winter Wren is found throughout most of Europe and North America where 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.

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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.

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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.

There are 13 sub-species of Winter Wren in Europe one of which is the St Kilda Wren.

20-26 million breeding pairs of this widespread and numerous bird throughout Europe, becoming rarer eastwards into
Russia and northwards in Scandinavia.
text: Arthur Grosset


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