Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

The Tail of the Wren

A perky, chatty little bird!

The House Wren presents us with a classic bird image. That jaunty tail, twitching sharply as the wren scolds, puts an exclamation point on the bird's perky voice and attitude. The word "wren" comes to us intact from the Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon languages, where it referred specifically to the tiny cocked tail of the bird we know as the Winter Wren. Be sure to watch the video.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
The Tail of the Wren

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!

[House Wren song]

A House Wren sings from deep inside a thicket. [House Wren song] With its tail cocked at a jaunty angle, this small brown wren presents us with a classic bird image. That cocked tail, twitching sharply as the House Wren scolds, puts an exclamation point on the wren’s perky voice and attitude. [House Wren sharp buzzes]

But wait! There’s another bird in that thicket. [Lincoln’s Sparrow song] Another small, brown bird firing off a brisk song, its tail up and twitching. [Lincoln’s Sparrow song]

Another wren, of course? Not so fast. This song and tail belong to a Lincoln’s Sparrow. [Lincoln’s Sparrow song]

The Lincoln’s Sparrow also frequently cocks and twitches its tail. Some other sparrows, ones that spend much of their time in dense vegetation, do the same.
But it is the wrens that we will always know best for that sporty tail. In fact, the very word “wren” comes to us intact from Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon languages. It referred specifically to the tiny cocked tail of the only wren of the Old World, once known simply as the wren, now called the Eurasian Wren. [As an aside:] It’s a close cousin of the Winter Wren and the Pacific Wren of the US. [Winter Wren song]

High-tail it over to our website, birdnote.org, to see photos of these champion songsters! Birdnote.org! I’m Michael Stein.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of the House Wren and song of the Winter Wren recorded by G.A.Keller; buzzes of House Wren by T.G. Sander.
Song of the Lincoln’s Sparrow by Martyn Stewart, naturesound.org
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org     June 2015     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#060806HOWRKPLU                 HOWR-01c         MS

Sights & Sounds

Related topics:

Related field notes:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More