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Eurasian Wren - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies T. t. troglodytes
Photo © by gaviao-real
Netherlands, June 2009
Troglodytes troglodytes


Fledgling, subspecies indigenus
Photo © by max1
Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk, August 2019

Length is 9-10 cm (3½-4 in), weight 6-12 g.

  • Mostly brown, in most populations with a reddish tint
  • Barred wing and tail feathers
  • Small tail (often cocked)
  • Pale buff underside (some populations almost as dark as the back)
  • Prominent pale supercilium
  • Bill slightly down curved


Subspecies T. t. indigenus
Photo © by Steve Round
Wirral, Cheshire, England, July 2004

Island populations tends to be larger birds than continental populations. For example in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, wings, legs, and bill are longer than in the UK.


In Europe from Iceland to central Scandinavia and south to the Mediterranean.
In Asia, it is widely distributed from north to south in the eastern end, but in central Asia, there is a gap separating those populations from western Asian and European populations.


Subspecies T. t. cypriotes
Photo © by lior kislev
Rosh Pina wadi, Galil, Israel, February 2009

Was formerly considered conspecific with Winter Wren and Pacific Wren, but the three were split on the basis of vocal and genetic evidence[1][2].

Rice et al (1999) proposed placing these species in a separate genus, Nannus3. Later molecular studies support this classification, because the closest relatives of Eurasian Wren, Winter Wren and Pacific Wren are not other members of the genus Troglodytes, but the Marsh and Sedge Wrens4, though this classification has not been followed by any of the main authorities[5][6].


Subspecies T. t. hirtensis, St Kilda Wren
Heavier barring, greyer (less rufus) plumage and stockier body than mainland species
Photo © by Bert Swan
Seen on 430 metre cliff, Hirta, St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Subspecies T. t. taivanus
Photo © by Mark Bruce
Anmashan, Taichung County, Taiwan, December 2008
A high alpine subspecies found in forest undergrowth between 2000m-3400m

A total of 28-29 subspecies are accepted[5][6]:


Photo © by jbpixels
Munich, Germany, 5 April 2024

Can be found in almost any habitat, low down in undergrowth from gardens and woodland to clifftops.


Tends to keep low when flying.


Forages under dense cover for small insects and spiders.


The nest is a ball of grass, leaves or other vegetation and may be placed in a bank hole, in thick vegetation or tucked under overhang. The clutch consists of 5-8 white eggs with brownish-red speckles. They are incubated for about 2 weeks and fledge around 16 or 17 days later.

There are usually 2 broods in the season which runs from April to August.


Call: Hard, dry chit or chiti
Song: Loud (especially given its size) warbling. Can last up to ten seconds.

Song Clip
Recording © by Joseph Morlan
Rosyth, Fife, Scotland, UK, 03 August 2018


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Dvoretski, S. V., et al. (2004). Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271: 545–551.
  2. Toews, D. P., & Irwin, D. E. (2008). Molecular Ecology 17 (11): 2691-2705.
  3. Rice, N. H., et al. (1999). Condor 101:446-451.
  4. Thread in Birdforum Taxonomy forum and references therein.
  5. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  6. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.4). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.

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