Family of birds

The wrens are passerine birds in the mainly New World family Troglodytidae. There are about 80 species in about 20 genera. The Wren is also the shortest bird in Britain.[1]

The wren in Eurasia, Troglodytes troglodytes
Scientific classification

Swainson, 1832
The marsh wren, Cistothorus palustris, one of the many American wrens

Originally, the word 'wren' was (and still is) used for the species found in Europe, western Asia and North Africa. The word came into English after a long history in the Germanic languages. The bird's scientific name is Troglodytes troglodytes.[2][3] When European biologists got to the Americas, they soon realised that the family of wrens has many species, and is mainly an American family of birds.

Most wrens are about 10 centimetres (4 inches) long, brown (both sexes), and has a short bill that curves slightly down.[3] Its wings are round and it has a short tail.


Its song is a gushing burst of sweet music, loud and emphatic. It has an enormous voice for its size, ten times louder, weight for weight, than a cockerel. Its song may sometimes be confused for the dunnock, which has warble that is shorter and weaker. The wren's song also has trill sounds, which the dunnock does not. The male has a long and complex song, with a series of tinkling trills one after the other for seconds on end.[4]

When this bird is annoyed or excited, its call runs into an emphatic churr, like clockwork running down.


  1. "21 Facts on Wren - Tweetapedia - Living with Birds". www.livingwithbirds.com. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  2. BBC News
  3. 3.0 3.1 "wren (bird) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 27 May 2012. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  4. del Hoyo J; Elliott A. & Christie D. 2005. Handbook of the birds of the world, volume 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to thrushes. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-72-5

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Troglodytidae at Wikimedia Commons