This very small bird makes a very big noise – a scolding torrent of up to 740 notes a minute. An ancient fable crowned it the king of birds, an idea which persists in Germany, where its name translates as King of the Hedge, and the Netherlands, where it is known as the Winter King. It has a memorable latin name, too - Troglodytes Troglodytes – though the Otley Wrens typically live in woods, gardens and hedgerows rather than caves. Male wrens will build several nests themselves, with the female then choosing the one to be used. In parts of Ireland, Boxing Day is celebrated as Wren Day, with processions behind a decorative pole with a wren on top. This is believed to originate from the day being St Stephen’s Day, and the story has it that St Stephen was betrayed by a noisy Wren when hiding in a hedge. Fortunately, model Wrens are now used rather than the real ones of yore.
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