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BirdNote: Myth Of The Wren

Jack B. Yeats

December 26th is known in the British Isles and elsewhere as St. Stephen's Day, in honor of the first Christian martyr.

Beginning in the 16th Century, local lads would go forth for a yearly wren hunt. The wren was protected the rest of the year, but the day after Christmas, the "Wren Boys" would catch a wren and parade it around town.

The unfortunate "star" of that celebration - the Eurasian Wren - is a species closely related to the Winter Wren of the Eastern US and Pacific Wren in the Northwest.