There are few birds that span the Northern Hemisphere that have not been aided to do so by man. One of these exceptions is the Wren. Until recently (2010) regarded as one species, on any given Spring day as the sun rises it would be shining on a Wren setting forth its territorial claim to its slice of the planet. There is no more exciting a claim than such a small bird with such a loud voice. Donald Kroodsma envisaged this as, ‘a wave of Wren song following the sun’. Across the globe, because of this, many cultures encounter Wrens. Each in turn labels it, some for its small size or like the Ojibway who name it in honour of its song- Ka-wa-miti-go-shi-que-na-go-mooch.
Seeing a new species of bird for the first time makes a huge impression when they are rare and sought after. Gyr Falcon, Pacific Swift, Lark Sparrow and Oriental Praticole are words that conjure up a moment in time on a specific day that I first saw them. Common birds just drift into your consciousness after forty years of birding. Blue Tits, Robins, Greenfinch and Linnets are just as much a part of my childhood as my family. I don’t remember when I first met them either. I do however have a memory of Wren singing from a Hogweed in bright May sunshine.
Looking for a close to home bird project for 2018 I realised I don’t know much about Wrens, even though it features in most of my birding notes. From winters on upland moors down to the beach Wren is always there. In City centres it is there, I have heard it singing among the noise of Liverpool’s shoppers. But I don’t know Wren and while out of work it leached into my being and I need to know more.
This may be the start of something or nothing, but I have the chance to see two more taxa of Wren-ness. Before I do I need to know more about ours.
This photo gives you some idea of what I have let myself in for. Its a bird form the far east and I will credit the photographer once he tells me which country it was taken in. It shows Wren-ness, but not of the kind I see in my garden. Let the adventures begin.