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Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes, near Bridge of Orchy, Scotland.
Known in Europe as “the” wren, and in North America as the Winter Wren.
Image: Dave Rintoul, Summer 2008 [larger view].

About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Wren

  1. Bob O'H says:

    Does anyone know why it got its scientific name? I can’t see any relationship to cave living.
    Ah, OK, I found the answer myself:

    ^ Etymology: Ancient Greek τρωγλοδύτες “cave-dwellers” (compare troglodyte), from trogle (τρώγλη) “hole” + dyein (δυειν) “to enter”. In reference to the tendency of these wrens to enter small crevices as they search for food.

  2. Diane in Ohio says:

    UPDATE: A seconded squatter has now been also sleeping in last springs Cardinal nest! I’m wondering if these house wrens might have been nestlings together – hmmmmmm…Amazing Mother Nature….:o)

  3. Rick Wright says:

    Sweet photo, Dave!
    It likely won’t be long before we have lots of species split out from this holarctic taxon; can’t wait!

  4. Ian says:

    It’s interesting you post this picture right after your trip to England. The wren was featured on a now obsolete coin called a farthing, which is one quarter of one (old) English penny. From the difference in size of the two coins comes the name for the bicycle which has a giant front wheel and a tiny rear wheel, the penny-farthing. The old penny was very large and the farthing was very small (tiny bird, tiny coin).
    That’s the only serious comment I’m going to make today and you get it, GS. Don’t you feel honored?!