Wrens in Ireland
wren is one of Ireland's smallest birds. They are stocky, birds
that constantly moving or twitching. Wrens are readily recognised
by their rich brown plumage and short cocked tail which they flick
have dark barred upperparts and flanks and have a pale white/yellow-ish
eyebrow. The underparts are paler with grey barring. The bill is
brown and the legs are flesh-brown. Young wrens are similar to adults
however the eyebrow may not be as pronounced as this becomes more
obvious when the gain their adult plumage.
usually only fly short distances in a steady straight line with
rapid wing beats.
Name for Wren
Irish word for wren is Dreoilín.
wren's diet is largely based upon insects and spiders. They are
particularly partial to beetles hence the reason that they usually
feed close to the ground.
there relatively long bill to probe into nooks and crannies on the
ground. This may explain their Latin name Troglodytes which
means cave dweller.
wren's nest is made from grass, moss and leaves. The male builds
the main globe-shaped nest in a tree, ivy, bush, wall, bank, or
an open-fronted nest boxes. He will build a number of nests from
which the female chooses one. When she makes her choice she completes
the nest construction by feathering the inside.
eggs are white with rust-coloured spots, and are glossy. The female
incubates the eggs however the young are fed by both parents.
also use nest boxes for winter roosting where more than 50 have
been recorded huddling together for warmth.
day also known as Wren's day, Hunt the Wren Day or The Hunting of
the Wrens is celebrated in Ireland on 26 December, St. Stephen's
Day. The tradition, thought to of Celtic origin, now consists of
hunting a fake wren, and placing it on top of a decorated
pole. Then the crowds of mummers or strawboys celebrate the wren
by dressing up in masks, straw suits and colourful clothing and
parading through towns and villages. These crowds are sometimes
referred to as wrenboys.
late as the mid-20th century a real live bird was hunted by the
wrenboys. The captured wren was tied, alive, to the wrenboy leader's
staff pole. Over time the live bird was replaced with a fake one.
10cm Wingspan: 15cm Weight:
: Very vocal all year. Song is a protracted series of trilling
notes - shrill, loud finishing abruptly. Calls also include
an abrupt "tic tic tic" or more prolonged "churrrrr"
Forest, woodland, urban, undergrowth
Insects, especially beetles, and spiders.
April - June
From 1 year
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
Status in Ireland: GREEN
Range in Ireland
wren is a permanent resident and is widespread and common throughout