THE Eurasian wren – an inconspicuous bird with a powerful song – is one of Britain’s most common birds, with breeding pairs estimated at about seven million. Although widely distributed and easily identifiable due to its tiny size, brown plumage, and perky, pointy tail, it is heard much more often than it is seen.

Wrens are vigorous and constantly on the move. These secretive birds spend most of their time creeping in dense understorey, especially near damper areas where the vegetation is particularly lush.

However, it is almost impossible not to hear their song as it is loud and lively, with a variety of trills and often delivered from a high perch. Females becomes particularly vocal when they carry food for their newly fledged brood (this may explain their nickname ‘jenny wren’, as noisy wrens tend to be thought of as female).

If you wonder how it is possible for such a small bird to be this loud, it happens thanks to a special organ called a syrinx. A syrinx can utilise all the air in the bird’s lungs and resonate it in a special chamber, which explains the far-reaching songs. It also lets the bird produce two different notes simultaneously, diversifying the sounds which can be incorporated into its song.

Males also make a good use of their singing skills, especially in early spring when they court any female that enters their territory. They will try to encourage the female to use one of their freshly built nests by performing a series of songs and wing flutters.

Wrens are busy parents – their brood can contain up to eight chicks!

Every season is good to watch wrens, but I particularly like autumn and winter. There is nothing more exciting than listening to wrens signing in the gorgeous autumnal light or watching them hop on snow.

This time last year, when the first golden and carmine leaves had covered the ground, I spent one afternoon watching a family of wrens. It was tricky to spot them at first, even though I could clearly hear them signing amongst the brambles. Eventually, one bird came out and started picking leaves in its beak and spitting them out.

Initially, I was confused as to whether it was collecting late nesting material or playing. As I was intrigued, I pulled out my camera and started watching the bird through my camera lens.

I must admit it was tempting to come up closer, but the carpet of dried leaves rustled each time I made a step. I decided to sit on the ground and watch it from a safe distance to remain unmasked.

At one point, I lost sight of the bird and I was about to stand up when the wren suddenly appeared in front of me! Once again, I have experienced that wildlife can surprise you when you least expect it.

The individual started its game of picking leaves. There was a moment when it held a mouthful of them in its beak, so it looked like a red bouquet.

Then I saw something incredible – as soon as the bird uncovered ground and noticed tiny insects, it would spit the leaves out and catch its prey. It was the first time I witnessed such a hunting technique implemented by a bird.

It is a wonderful demonstration of why I love the natural world – if you take the time to stop and look a little closer, you will see that there are little curiosities all around us.

If you have seen some wildlife and would like to share your experience with me, get in touch: