Wryneck Jynx torquilla   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Piciformes Family: Picidae
BTO Codes: WY, WRYNE EURING No: 8480
Number in Britain: 254 records/year
Conservation Status:
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Former Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: torquilla recorded in Britain (of 6 subsp. in the world)
Length: 16 cm Wingspan: 26 cm Weight: M/F: 38 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: iunx=the wryneck and L.: torquere=to twist
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, n&c Asia, nw Africa, WINTERS: south to c Africa, s Asia
Habitat: Open woodland, farmland
Diet: Mostly ants taken from nest, also other insects
TitBit: The appearance of a wry neck comes from its odd, asymmetric plumage rather than any skeletal deformity.  
Identification Tips:
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Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Passage: 254 individuals
    First Record: 1544
    First Breeding Record: Scotland 1969
    Conservation Status: RED because Historical Population Decline, Recent Breeding Population Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: torquilla RED (Recent Decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (Lead Partner: RSPB)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 280 to 500 thousand pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,IV), Bern(III)
Survey Results:

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 20 x 15 mm Egg Weight: 2.7 g (of which 7 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 7 - 10 eggs
Incubation: 12- 14 days   by the: Female (occ. Male)
Fledging: 18 - 22days as: Altricial, naked
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1-2(3)
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.380       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 2 years 4 months 7 days (set in 1983)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: B
Wing Length Adult: 90.3 ± 2.6 Range 86 - 94 mm, N =41
Juvenile: 90.2 ± 3.0 84 - 95 mm, N =77
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: 33.37 ± 5.15 Range 27.30 - 44.10 g , N =41
Juvenile: 33.40 ± 4.32 27.50 - 42.00 g , N =71
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Eurasian Wryneck
Gaelic: Geocair Welsh: Pengam
Danish: Vendehals Dutch: Draaihals
Finnish: Käenpiika French: Torcol fourmilier
German: Wendehals Hungarian: Nyaktekercs
Icelandic: Gauktíta Irish: Cam-Mhuin
Italian: Torcicollo Norwegian: Vendehals
Polish: Kretoglów zwyczajny Portuguese: Torcicolo
Spanish: Torcecuello Swedish: Göktyta
Local Names: Snakebird, Cuckoo's Mate

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