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WREN : Troglodytes troglodytes

If you have a reasonably big garden with a hedge or other bushes, you probably have a wren living there or at least visiting occasionally. These are very small brown birds that generally keep to the undergrowth, stand still looking about for a moment with their tails erect, and then run after a morsel. 

Somehow that image does not match with their Latin name that conjures up dinosaurs! But troglodyte means someone who lives in a cave and this small bird usually keeps to the low secretive hollows of our hedges. The term though refers to their tendency to forage in the dark. 

Their English name of wren comes from Middle English which in turn derives  from Old High German ie kuningilin meaning 'kinglet' which it earned in the fable of the election of the "king of birds".

So this little wren is King of the Birds!

The fable describes how it won a competition to decide who would be the king of the birds by flying the highest. Our diminutive hero actually hid in the feathers of a large eagle to reach such heights, popping out at the last moment when the eagle was tiring. A bit of trickery perhaps, but a good story. See the link to Little Brown Wren below. 

A rather undignified situation. A wren managed to get through the kitchen door and headed for what it thought was open air at the other end. Panick set in when it was abruptly stopped by glazing and then by well meaning hands who eventually rescued it.

LITTLE BROWN WREN : Author & illustrator - Elizabeth.     http://littlebrownwren.com/2015/11/24/how-the-wren-became-the-king-of-the-birds/

RSPB : https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/wren/

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wren

 

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