11 millionth record is a Wren!

, 04 December 2023
11 millionth record is a Wren!
Wren on Hawthorn © John Stanton

The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre team is delighted to have reached the species data milestone of 11 million records: 'It’s taken under a year for another million verified records to make their way into the SxBRC species database. Amazing work by everyone who’s submitted a record in the last 11 months, and their hardworking Sussex verifiers for checking each one.'

The 11-millionth record was a Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) recorded in Hastings, so here are 11 Wren facts from Biodiversity Projects Lead, Lois Mayhew, with a bonus fact from Conservation Officer, Charlotte Owen:

  1. The family name ‘Troglodytidae’ is derived from ‘troglodyte’ meaning 'cave-dweller' – which may stem from their tendency to forage in dark crevices, or from the construction of their delicate nests, which have only a small opening.

  2. The most Wrens recorded on one day in Sussex was 24 March 2021, when 119 Wrens were recorded. Then-Sussex Wildlife Trust ecologist Glenn Norris recorded 27 on a survey of Ebernoe Common and Butcherlands Sussex Wildlife Trust reserves.

  3. The Wren is Britain’s most widespread bird, as it's found on almost all offshore islands and at all altitudes from sea level to the highlands.

  4. Wrens have the loudest song in proportion to its size of any British bird.

  5. In Northern European folklore, the Wren is perceived as wise and cunning. In a contest to decide ‘The King of Birds’ based on which bird could fly highest, the Wren hid in the wing of an eagle who outflew all other birds, but as the eagle grew tired and started to drop, the Wren flew out above the eagle to claim the title.

  6. Wrens weigh 10g, the same as a £1 coin...

  7. ...so the 106,306 Wrens recorded in the SxBRC database make a total of 1 tonne of Wrens.

  8. Sussex's earliest Wren record is at Lancing College in 1885.

  9. The most recorded 1km square for Wrens is TQ1732, at Warnham Local Nature reserve, where they have recorded 2,359 Wrens since 1976.

  10. According to the British Trust for Ornithology’s 2020 Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom, the Wren is Britain’s most common breeding bird, with 11 million breeding pairs counted across the UK in 2020.

  11. Wrens aren’t the smallest British bird, that honour falls to the Goldcrest, but they are the shortest at between 6-10cm in length.

Bonus fact: the record for the number of Wrens roosting in one nest box is 63.

Leave a comment


  • Gail Greaves:

    Glad such a tiny bird holds the title of 11 millionth recorded bird – they are small but mighty and always bring a smile with their delightful, happy song!

    07 Dec 2023 12:41:00

  • Ella:

    Cute little birdies. Always joy to see and hear :-)

    07 Dec 2023 16:06:00

  • Caroline:

    The wren is my sisters favourite bird . Although we live a few 100 miles apart when I see a wren it reminds of her and somehow brings us closer together . Wrens mean a lot to both of us

    07 Dec 2023 16:42:00

  • Debbie Burford:

    I love all your facts about the wren.

    The farthing coin (which I’m not quite old enough to remember but was worth a quarter of an old penny) featured a wren and as the farthing weighed about 2.5g there would be four farthings to one real wren!

    07 Dec 2023 18:00:00

  • Viviane Doussy:

    These are fascinating facts and I really enjoyed reading them! Thanks

    07 Dec 2023 22:53:00

  • Dominic feely:

    Brilliant, more of this sort of thing please

    07 Dec 2023 23:22:00

  • Gaye:

    I live in Nepcote Lane, Findon
    I don’t use chemicals in my garden & parts are left wild.
    I see wrens nesting most years & have also noticed blue tits, pigeons, robins nesting as well
    Just a few 100 yards up the road is a small wooded area & over the seasons I’ve also captured wrens and other birds up there using my Merlin app.

    08 Dec 2023 06:57:00

  • Karen Laver:

    Congratulations. Love the wren facts.

    08 Dec 2023 08:09:00

  • Karen:

    Congratulations. Love the wren facts.

    08 Dec 2023 08:09:00

  • Sue:

    Wow, what an amazing bird, I love their song too. “Good things come in small packages”

    08 Dec 2023 09:25:00

  • Johanne Grant:

    I have wrens (or 1?) that visits my garden in Camber. I love them. I’ve just read your 11 facts and apart from 63 wrens in one nest box, they weigh the same as a £1 coin. Never knew that. I had the rare treat of seeing a Goldcrest once.

    08 Dec 2023 09:50:00

  • Ian Mould:

    It’s lovely seeing them darting around the bushes in the shrubbery,they don’t stay still for long.


    08 Dec 2023 14:34:00

  • Martin Mooney:

    The Wren the Wren, the king of all birds, Saint Stephens Day got caught in the firs: on with the kettle and down with the pan; give me a penny to follow the Wren.

    16 Dec 2023 21:01:00