Guide to the

Think you’ve spotted a Wren in your garden? Our Wren bird guide is here to help you learn lots of information about these little garden visitors.

Small in size and mostly brown in colour, they can be spotted all over the UK. Although they’re quite common, they’re still a lovely sight to see, with a round body and pointy tail. Due to their small size and skulking nature, they can be quite easy to overlook at times. However, their loud songs and calls often give them away.

You can find them in woodland and other areas with lots of undergrowth. They’ll usually lay and raise two broods between March and August. Generally, their nests are made from moss and grass close to the ground. If you happen to come across their eggs, they’re white in colour with faint brown specks. Want to keep these little birds well-fed? Their diet consists of insects and small seeds.

How to identify Wrens?

Wrens have brown upperparts and brownish-buff plumage underneath. They have a small tail that is often held vertically and a pale line above the eye. The bill is quite long, pointed and slightly curved down.

What do Wrens sound like?

Wrens have a hard, clicking call. Their song is typically fast with a high trilling phrase. Both the call and song are surprisingly loud for such a small bird.

What do Wrens eat?

Insects (especially small beetles) and spiders, typically taken from or close to the ground.

What predators do Wrens have in gardens?

Mainly Sparrowhawks.

How numerous are Wrens?

According to the latest population estimate, from 2016, there were 9,750,000 pairs of Wrens in Britain and 11,000,000 pairs in the UK.

How long do Wrens live for?

On average, Wrens live for around two years. However, the current longevity record for this species is seven years and three months.

When are Wrens most frequently seen in gardens?

According to Garden BirdWatch data, which has been collected since 1995, they are most frequently seen in March in around 42% of gardens. Their highest average monthly maximum count tends to come in March, with around 0.43 birds per garden.

Are Wrens increasing or declining in gardens?

Wrens have declined slightly in gardens. However, as this species is very susceptible to cold weather, numbers do fluctuate from winter to winter. In order to compensate for this, they are capable of producing several large broods in a year.

When do Wrens nest?

Wrens nest between April and August and have two broods in a year. They tend to lay up to six eggs that are incubated for around 18 days. The young then fledge after another 19 days.

Do Wrens use nest boxes?

Yes, Wrens will use open-fronted nest boxes. Size: base 150 x120mm, front 150mm x 140mm Siting: 1-3 metres off ground, well hidden by thick vegetation.

What can I do to help Wrens in my garden?

Provide food and fresh, clean supply of water for them. Also, put up nest boxes for them in your garden.

Did you know?

Wrens will sometimes roost communally for warmth. Over 60 birds were once counted leaving a roost in a nest box one winter morning in Norfolk!


This bird guide has been written in collaboration with experts at the British Trust for Ornithology. To find out more about their vital work, visit: