Eurasian Wren

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The Wren is one of Ireland’s most common birds. It can be found almost anywhere in the country, including in Galway’s gardens, farmlands, woodlands, and islands. Wrens have small bodies, light-brown plumage, and short tails. Because of their size and colour, they are sometimes difficult to spot. However, wrens are known for their impressive vocalisations. Unlike many other small birds, they are vocal in the wintertime and produce a pleasant, high-pitched, complex song. Wrens have historical importance in Ireland. In Celtic mythology, they were considered an unwelcome symbol of the year gone by. The tradition of Wren Day developed from this belief: every year on December 26th, a group of young boys (Wrenboys) would hunt a wren, attach it to a staff, and parade it around a town or village, collecting money from the houses they passed. Nowadays, the tradition (which is still practised in some parts of the country) no longer includes killing a wren.