Bird Families

Wren bird


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Our author's methodological materials on invertebrate zoology:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials for invertebrates of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) identifiers Day butterflies, Forest pests, Freshwater invertebrates,
EcoGuide identification applications for smartphones and tablets on Android and iOS: Butterflies, Insects-pests, Aquatic invertebrates (they can be downloaded from Google Play or downloaded from the AppStore),
colored laminated identification charts: Mid-lane diurnal butterflies, Freshwater invertebrates,
pocket field guides Inhabitants of reservoirs and Insects of Russia
determinant of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Insects.

Spruce striped sawfly - Pachynematus scutellatus (Htg.)

Hymenoptera with pronounced sexual dimorphism. Female It is light green in color with a dark pattern on the head, back, upper abdomen and at the end of the ovipositor. Its length is 8-9 mm, its wingspan is about 20 mm. Antennae consists of 9 segments, black-brown above, yellowish below, almost as long as the body. Male has a length of 6-7 mm, a wingspan of about 15 mm, has a yellow-brown color with a dark pattern similar to that of a female, and in addition, with three stripes in the middle of the chest. Antennae and legs are mostly yellow. Long transparent wings with a pearlescent sheen, costal and subcostal veins are yellowish. Eggs yellowish-white, oblong, about 1.5 mm long, 0.5 mm wide.

False caterpillars have 3 pairs of chest legs, 6 pairs of false legs and one pair of false legs on the last segment. Up to 3 years of age they have a light green color and a yellow head, for the next instars 5 dark green stripes and a black transverse line from one eye to another on a green head are characteristic. Adult caterpillars are 15-20 mm long. Cocoons oblong, ovoid, 10-12 mm long, 4-5 mm wide, pointed at the posterior end, black-brown, leathery with an uneven surface.

Adults begin their years at the time of spruce blooming, in the middle lane usually in the first half of May, in the northern regions - 14 days later. Fertilized females with a saw-shaped ovipositor incise freshly blossoming needles and deeply lay one egg at a time, usually the only one on the whole shoot. False caterpillars emerge after 2-6 days. Up to 4 years of age, they eat newly blossoming needles, later, by the end of development, only older needles. Meals continue for 5-8 weeks until the end of June. Get damaged first of all, the tops of the spruce trees, therefore, the growth in height slows down. Each year, as a result of damage to the needles of young shoots, the crowns become more rare, thus reducing the growth of wood in diameter. Adult false caterpillars fall to the ground and weave a cocoon under the forest floor. The transformation of the pupa usually occurs at the end of April; some of the false caterpillars remain in the cocoon until the next year.

Spruce striped sawfly circulated mainly in central and northern Europe, including the European part of Russia. Prefers spruce plantations at the age of 40-60 years. The most severe damage is usually observed in hilly areas.

Our author's methodological materials on invertebrate zoology:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials for invertebrates of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) identifiers Day butterflies, Forest pests, Freshwater invertebrates,
EcoGuide identification applications for smartphones and tablets on Android and iOS: Butterflies, Insects-pests, Aquatic invertebrates (they can be downloaded from Google Play or downloaded from the AppStore),
colored laminated identification charts: Mid-lane diurnal butterflies, Freshwater invertebrates,
pocket field guides Inhabitants of reservoirs and Insects of Russia
determinant of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Insects.

In section Nature in photographs also hosted thousands scientific photographs mushrooms, lichens, plants and animals of Russia and the countries of the former USSR, and in the section Natural landscapes of the world - photographs of nature in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and Antarctica.

In section Methodical materials You can also get acquainted with the descriptions developed by the Ecological Center "Ecosystem" of printed identifiers of plants in the middle lane, pocket identifiers of natural objects in the middle lane, identification tables "Mushrooms, plants and animals of Russia", computer (electronic) identifiers of natural objects, field guides for smartphones and tablets , methodological manuals for organizing project activities of schoolchildren and field environmental research (including a book for teachers "How to organize a field environmental workshop"), as well as educational films on the organization of project research activities of schoolchildren in nature. Purchase all of these materials are available in our non-commercial online store. You can also purchase there mp3 discs Voices of birds of central Russia and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia.

Description and features of wren

Wren - bird dense physique. The body of the animal looks round, since it has almost no neck. It seems that a large and also round head is attached, bypassing it. The tail also gives compactness to the wren. It does not "shine" in length. The typical tail position of a bird is upturned, especially when the bird is sitting. This further hides the length of the tail.

Painted wren in brownish tones. Chestnut shades prevail. They are lighter on the belly. The back of the bird is 3-4 tones darker.

The wren is a very small bird, even smaller than a sparrow

The color and appearance of the bird are similar to the appearance of birds of the warbler family. The difference is the absence of white eyebrows. In warblers, they are clearly expressed.

Another distinctive feature of the wren is its beak. It is thin and curved. It's easy to catch insects like that. Small midges and spiders are the basis of the bird's diet. Actually, that's why the wren is migratory. In order to stay for the winter, you need to switch to eating frozen berries and seeds. The wren does not compromise, departing to the regions teeming with insects all year round.

Wren on a photo looks diminutive. But the real size of the bird is rarely captured. In fact, the feathered one is about half the size of a sparrow.

The strength of the wren's voice seems out of proportion to its mass. The hero of the article has powerful, major singing. The trills of the birds are energetic and slightly crackling, they sound something like "trick-tee-tik".

Listen to the singing of the wren

Lifestyle and habitat

The favorite habitat of the hero of the article is hidden in his name. The bird often hides in the nettle thickets. However, instead of it, the feathered one can use ferns, raspberries, or simply heaps of brushwood in a windbreak.It is his wren that seeks out in deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests. It is important that they have undergrowth, windbreaks, everything that litters the territory.

Upturned roots, fallen trunks, heaps of brushwood and thickets of shrubs, grasses are necessary for wrens for shelter from predators and nesting. In difficult-to-pass places, passerines hide clutches of eggs. The surrounding trash also serves as a building material for the nests. They are dominated by moss, leaves, small twigs.

If there are thickets, wrens settle in the mountains, and in ravines, and near lakes and swamps, and in deserts. Those who settle in areas with a harsh climate are collectively saved from the cold. Birds huddle in several individuals in the nest. Birds pressed against each other reduce heat loss.

By the way, part of the wren population is sedentary. Birds nesting in the northern regions are migratory. However, wrens are also common outside of Russia. Some species of the family live in America, Africa, Asia, and European countries. In Russia, a representative of the passerine genus appears simultaneously with the first spring thawed patches.

Bird species

Ornithologists count 60 representatives of the wren family. In Russia, the common one is mainly found. In length, it grows up to 10 centimeters, weighs about 7-10 grams. The brown plumage of the bird casts red. On the sides of the common wren, transverse streaks are visible, and above the eyes there is a semblance of light eyebrows.

In America, house wren predominates. It is larger than usual by 3-4 centimeters in length. Representatives of the species weigh about 13 grams. The small size does not prevent house birds from climbing into the nests of other birds and destroying their eggs. In particular, the clutches of nuthatches and tits are eaten. Another species of wrens, the long-tailed one, also suffers from the brownie.

Long-tailed wren, as the name implies, is distinguished by the length of the tail. It does not look like short "brushes" of feathers of congeners. The color of the plumage is also different. There is almost no redness in it. Cold shades of brown predominate.

There is also Stephen's shrub wren... He only lives on Stevens Island. Ptakha is distinguished by its brown-olive plumage and inability to fly. The small wings of an even smaller bird are unable to lift it into the air.

However, does Stephen's wren live? Representatives of the species have not been seen for a long time, and therefore are considered extinct. The cats brought to the island are blamed for the death of the population. They caught all the birds unable to fly away from the offenders.

Stephen's birds are otherwise called New Zealand wrensas Stevens Island is off the coast of New Zealand. Once, scientists say, the extinct species lived on the main lands of the country. But, in the 19th century, the territory was chosen by the Maori.

Stephen's or New Zealand wren

The people brought with them rats called Polynesian. Already guessed who exterminated the bush wrens on the continent? The rats considered flightless birds easy prey. That's cause of death of shrub wrens # 1. Cats just "put the squeeze" on the situation.

There are also fictional types of wren. Suffice it to recall the computer game Wowhead. It has pond wren... This unique item bears little resemblance to a bird. The Wren in the game is a vehicle that gives freedom in water and airless space.

Nutrition of the wren

In the fictional world, wrens are not asked to eat or drink. The real bird eats often, filling its stomach to refusal. This is typical of miniature animals. The crumb that their stomach can accommodate is enough for a small amount of energy. Having consumed it, the wren is hungry again. The bird dies without frequent meals.

The diet of wrens includes snails, centipedes, spiders, insect larvae and pupae, caterpillars, eggs of other small birds and invertebrates.

A part of the wren population that remains overwintering in Russia accepts berries on the menu. But, in general, birds try to stay closer to non-freezing springs and rivers. In them, birds get aquatic insects, larvae.


Elongated body of golden color, transverse black-chocolate stripes are located over the entire surface. Their number ranges from 14-18. If the fish is under stress, the streaks may become discolored. A longitudinal stripe is poorly visible, extending from the eyes to the tail, at the base of which there is a black spot.

The fins are transparent with very thin black stripes. The dorsal fin consists of 8 branched rays. There are 2 large papillae in the center of the upper lip.

Behavior and compatibility

Compatible with small and peaceful fish species. Small cyprinids from the genera such as Boraras, Microdevario, Trigonostigma, Tanichthys, and Microrasbora, as well as smaller zebrafish such as D. erythromicron or D. margaritatus, are perhaps the best options, and most of the smaller Characinidae are likely to work as well.

Peaceful loaches and catfish should also work, but as always, study your choices carefully to avoid future problems.

It is imperative to keep at least 8-10 individuals in a group, the more the better. Keeping them in this quantity will not only make the fish less restless and fearful, but will also lead to more efficient, natural-looking appearance and behavior.


Basic dimensions 60 * 30 cm or equivalent, considering that it is better to keep them in a flock.

She prefers shelters from dense vegetation, interweaving of branches and snags. Avoids bright light; partial shade should be created in the aquarium with the help of floating plants.

They spend a lot of time exploring the bottom, in this regard, it is preferable to choose soft sandy soil so that the fish do not damage their delicate antennae.

Water parameters:

Temperature: 22 - 27 ° С
pH: 6.0 - 7.5
Hardness: 2 - 12 ° dH

The water should be well saturated with oxygen, filtration is weak without turbulence, although a small flow is allowed. Be sure to perform regular partial water changes to maintain water quality.


In nature, they eat zooplankton, in an aquarium, given a very good appetite, they take any food, the main thing is that it is small enough.

From frozen and live, daphnia, tubifex, cyclops, brine shrimp nauplii, etc. are suitable. From dry - small or crushed food, which ideally should contain spirulina or other plant components.

Basically, food is picked up from the bottom, as well as from leaves, snags and stones. Despite their peaceful disposition and tiny size, they are able to push smaller neighbors away from the feeder.


Like most small carp fish, they freely spread eggs and leave them unattended.

When adult fish are in good health and in a safe aquarium, they often spawn, it is possible that a small number of fry can appear without intervention, but if you want to maximize the offspring, a more controlled approach will be required.

A 10-15 liter aquarium for spawning is filled with settled water, the temperature is set at 25-26 ° C. It is highly undesirable to change the rest of the water parameters, the fish begin to experience prolonged stress.To reduce it, the aquarium is darkened on three sides. Fill most of the spawning tank with small-leaved plants, and Javan moss will do. A man-made scrubber can also work well. A weak flow formed by the filter and light aeration will not be superfluous.

Fish are placed in the spawning grounds in pairs or in a group of 4 females and 2 males. For a whole week, nothing may happen, the fish will behave stiffly, refusing to eat. At this time, the water is changed by 5-10% every other day. Gradually, they are mastered and can begin to spawn. The readiness of the fish for spawning is manifested in the nervousness and fussiness of the male, who, swimming behind the female, constantly pushes her into the abdomen with his head. The female lays several very small eggs. Producers sit down after spawning.

Eggs are incubated for about three days. Until two weeks of age, fry are almost impossible to find in the spawning grounds. All the time they stay at the bottom, hiding among stones and plants. As they grow older, they begin to swim more and more often in the aquarium and constantly feed.

The starting food for the first few days is the ciliate, as the fry grow, switch to nauplii of brine shrimp, microworms (nematodes) and other microfoods.

They grow unevenly, at the age of 2 weeks they grow up to 10-15 mm. Stripes characteristic of adults appear by the age of three weeks, and in a month the fry already become a mini-copy of adult fish, both in behavior and in appearance.

Notes (edit)

Randall (1944) described Nemacheilus cruciatus and established the genus Micronemacheilus for it. It remained there until 2001, when Freihof and Serov transferred it to the genus Yunnanilus, based on the fact that it shares most of the diagnostic traits for the genus given by Kottelat (1988).

This placement resulted in the species being the only of 30 species in the genus to have vertical stripes, 8 branched dorsal fin rays, and a pair of large papillae in the middle of the upper lip.

Cottelat (2012) considers the genus Micronemacheilus to be valid, but the only representative is M. cruciatus. No further information is provided.

Reproduction and life expectancy of wren

Small bird wren breeding begins in late April, early May. The nests are built by males. They, if the population is migratory, are the first to return to their homeland. Having prepared a "foothold", males of wrens meet females and young growth.

Males not only build nests, but also carefully choose the territory for them. There should be a source of clean water and thickets of grass and bushes nearby. It is also important that the place you like is spacious enough.

Wrens have 5-7 nests next to each other. Some of them are set up on the ground, others are placed on the branches of bushes, and still others are in the voids of fallen trees. Moreover, each male makes several variants of nests. They are left unfinished. Only that which the female chooses in the end is brought to the "mind".

Wrens make nests thick-walled, with a diameter of about 12 centimeters. Should hold 6 eggs - average clutch volume of wren. In a year, pairs of birds give birth twice, incubating chicks for two weeks.

In the photo there is a wren in the nest

Wren eggs are white with small red dots. In nature, birds have time to raise 8 generations. Wrens rarely live longer than 4 years. If you tame a bird, it can please 10-12 years. These are the records for the longevity of wrens in captivity.

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