That tiny brown bird you see flitting past your window may be a wren, especially if it's got a tiny, upright tail.

Wrens are busy little brown birds, mostly found in North and South America. Often wrens are tiny and inconspicuous, with small wings and stubby little tails, although their songs can be quite noisy and complex. The origin of the word wren isn't known beyond the fact that it was wrenna in Old English, from a Germanic root.

Definitions of wren

n any of several small active brown birds of the northern hemisphere with short upright tails; they feed on insects

jenny wren
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Troglodytes troglodytes, winter wren
small wren of coniferous forests of northern hemisphere
Troglodytes aedon, house wren
common American wren that nests around houses
marsh wren
a wren of the genus Cistothorus that frequents marshes
Salpinctes obsoletus, rock wren
wren inhabiting badlands and mesa country of western United States and Mexico
Carolina wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus
large United States wren with a musical call
cactus wren
large harsh-voiced American wren of arid regions of the United States southwest and Mexico
Cistothorus palustris, long-billed marsh wren
American wren that inhabits tall reed beds
Cistothorus platensis, sedge wren, short-billed marsh wren
small American wren inhabiting wet sedgy meadows
Type of:
passeriform bird, passerine
perching birds mostly small and living near the ground with feet having 4 toes arranged to allow for gripping the perch; most are songbirds; hatchlings are helpless

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