Bird Families

Stephen's shrub wren, or traversia, a species of nocturnal flightless extinct bird from the family of New Zealand wrens, the only one of the genus of traverses


Eryngium, or Eringium, is a perennial herb of the Umbelliferae family. There are about 250 species of erythematosus on the Eurasian continent. Because of its cultivation on the coasts in the Mediterranean, another name is also known - "sea holly". Other names for eringium are known among the people:

  • blue thorn,
  • blueheads,
  • blue oak tree,
  • blue thistle.


Botanical description

Erythroat is a perennial, less often it is a biennial or annual. The average height of the stem is 50-80 cm. The trunk is branched in the upper part. The root system is pivotal.

Leaves are hard, leathery, whole or pinnately dissected twice, spiny-toothed along the edge, lanceolate, triangular or rounded. The upper ones are sessile, the lower and the basal ones are petioled.

The flowers are small (up to 2 cm), bisexual, ovoid. Each flower is located in the axil of the bract. Collected in a capitate inflorescence, surrounded by a tough, large, prickly, feathery or whole leaf wrapper. The petals are colored blue or light blue. Blooms from June to August, there are varieties blooming until frost.

Bears fruit abundantly. The fruit is a two-seed, oval in shape, along the ribs with sharp scales.

Where does it grow

In its natural environment, it is found in the European part of Russia, in the North Caucasus and the southern part of Western Siberia. Erythematosus is such an unpretentious plant that it is found in Mexico, the Baltic States, North Africa, China and many European countries. Prefers dry soil. It grows in the steppes, on the shores of seas and rivers, in bushes, meadows, sands, near roads, on forest edges.

Chemical composition

Einehead has a rich chemical composition. The roots of the plant contain:

  • sucrose,
  • vitamin C,
  • acids (glycolic, malonic, malic, citric, oxalic, rosemary, chlorogenic, ascorbic),
  • polysaccharides,
  • tannins,
  • phenolcarbon compounds,
  • fructose,
  • tannins,
  • essential oils,
  • triterpene saponins,
  • coumarins,
  • flavanoids.

The upper part of the eringium contains a similar composition of chemicals and compounds. The only difference is in their ratio. Seeds have the highest amount of essential oils in their composition.

Beneficial features

Erythematosus has found application only in alternative medicine. Traditional healers have been using its beneficial properties for a long time as an independent medicine and as an additional medicine in combination with medicines.

Eringium has the following beneficial properties:

  • anticonvulsants,
  • blood-purifying,
  • antispasmodic,
  • stimulating,
  • fortifying,
  • antibacterial,
  • diuretics
  • expectorant
  • sweatshops,
  • calming,
  • antitoxic,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • lactogonic,
  • pain relievers
  • astringent.

Stephen shrub wren

Stephen's shrub wren, or traversia, is a species of nocturnal, flightless, extinct birds from the family of New Zealand wrens, the only one of the genus of traverses. The species was originally distributed throughout New Zealand.

1. History of discovery and extinction

Initially, the species lived throughout New Zealand. According to available data, their extinction in the main part of the archipelago about. North and about. The southern one is a consequence of the importation of rats by migrants from the South Pacific Islands, which quickly ruined all the existing nests of this species, since they did not have any defense mechanisms against such predators.

A small population of these birds lived on Stephens Stephens Island until the end of the 19th century. By 1895, all birds of this species were exterminated by cats brought to the island by its inhabitants. For a long time, a legend was spread according to which the entire species was destroyed by a single cat named Tibbles, which belonged to the lighthouse keeper David Lyell. This misconception is widespread in our time. In 2004, studies of the island's history were carried out, which refuted this legend. In 1882, three caretakers with their families settled on the island. The approximate time of the appearance of wild cats on the island is February 1884. Most likely, a pregnant cat escaped from the inhabitants of the island, which gave rise to the entire population. Caretaker David Lyell tamed one of the wild cats, who began to bring him carcasses of birds. Lyell was interested in natural science and suggested that the carcasses found belong to a previously undocumented species. He passed the find on to naturalist Walter Buller, who published a description of the species in the Ibis magazine. According to naturalist James Hector, in 1898 the island was already teeming with wild cats. Lighthouse keeper Robert Cathcart claimed to have personally shot over a hundred cats in 1899.

2. Similar species

The smallest modern flightless bird, the Tristan Shepherd, lives in the South Atlantic Ocean on an island with an area of ​​just over 10 km² called Inaccessible, where predatory animals are completely absent. There are fears that predators may be accidentally introduced there by humans, and then they will instantly destroy this species, just as happened with the Stephenian shrub wren.


On the basis of erythematosus, infusions and decoctions are prepared, the use of which is effective for:

  • headaches, joint and toothaches,
  • depression, neurosis, sleep disorders,
  • whooping cough
  • bronchial asthma,
  • asthmatic bronchitis,
  • impotence,
  • jade,
  • prostatitis,
  • dropsy
  • a weakened appetite
  • tuberculosis,
  • stone formation in the gallbladder and kidneys,
  • skin diseases (allergic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis),
  • conjunctivitis
  • rheumatism,
  • joint pain,
  • disorders of the cardiovascular system.

Collection and storage of raw materials

The roots and grass of the erythematosus were used in folk medicine. The grass is harvested during the flowering period. The upper shoots are cut to a length of about 25-30 cm. The collected raw materials are laid out and dried in the open air. Further, the eringium must be crushed. Finished raw materials are stored for 2 years in canvas bags or tightly closed jars.

Rhizome harvesting begins in autumn or early spring. They must be cleaned of soil residues, rinsed and cut into several pieces. Place the prepared root elements under a canopy or in a well-ventilated area. Store in the same way as grass. Shelf life is no more than 3 years.


The use of any herbal preparations should be coordinated with the attending physician and carried out under his supervision. You need to know about contraindications when using drugs based on erythematosus.

  • critical days in women (may increase bleeding),
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding,
  • hypertension (increases blood pressure),
  • intraocular pressure (increases eye pressure),
  • individual intolerance and allergic reaction.

Common types

Eringium is a fairly popular plant, including in horticulture. But only a few are considered popular:

  • Eryngium alpinum. It grows on pastures in the subalpine regions of Western Europe. Stems are solitary, up to 70 cm high, branched at the top. There are purple stripes along the stem. Stem leaves are dissected, basal leaves are cordate. The flowers are small (about 2 cm), collected in capitate inflorescences. Framed by hard, bristly, large, blue bracts.

  • Eryngium amethystinum (Eryngium amethystinum). Perennial found in the Eastern Mediterranean. Prefers sunny, stony, arid places soil enriched with calcium. A very thermophilic species, found only in the southern regions. Grows up to 70 cm in height. The stem is straight, branched at the top, dark green at the bottom and bluish-purple at the top. Inflorescences are capitate, ovoid, surrounded by 5-9 bracts of purple color.

  • Giant Eryngium (Eryngium giganteum). Known to avid gardeners as Miss Wilmott's Ghost. According to legend, the Englishwoman Miss Wilmott from Essex was very fond of Eringium. She scattered the seeds of this perennial in the gardens, which she passed or visited. Because of its silvery color, the erythematosus resembled a ghost to the owners of the gardens. Therefore, he was given such a name. The homeland of this species is the Caucasus and Southwest Asia. The height of the bush is from 150 to 180 cm. The leaves are whole at the root, cordate in the middle and strongly dissected with spines on the teeth in the upper part of the plant. The flowers are very small, bluish-silvery. Collected in capitate, oblong, bluish or pale green inflorescences (length about 6 cm). Surrounded by large silvery-gray leaves of the wrapper. One plant contains up to a hundred inflorescences.

  • Eryngium bourgatii. It is also a very large species, it grows up to 2 m in height. It comes from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. Heat-loving plant. The stem is branched. Its upper part has a bluish tint. The leaves are dissected, dark green, pale in color around the veins. The wrapper consists of long, serrated leaves.

  • Field Eryngium (Eryngium campestre). Perennial plant up to 60 cm tall. The stem is bluish or grayish-green in color. The leaves are hard-skinned, the upper ones are sessile pinnately separated, the lower ones are petiolar. The flowers are whitish. Umbellate inflorescence. At the end of the teeth of the calyx, there is a long spiny point. It grows like a weed in fields and along roads. It is used as a medicinal raw material in folk medicine.

  • Eryngium planum flat-leaved or flat (Eryngium planum). The most common species on the territory of the Russian Federation. It also grows in Central and Southern Europe, Northern China. Stem silvery or bluish, up to 80 cm, branched at the top. The leaves are three or five-part, thin. Inflorescences are capitate, rounded, about 2 cm in diameter. The leaves of the envelope are narrow, protruding, dentate, bluish. Resistant to all weather conditions, abundant flowering. It is also a medicinal plant. And its twigs with spiky heads have been used as salvation from the evil eye and damage since ancient times.

Traditional medicine recipes

The shoots and roots of the plant are used for general strengthening of the body, protection against edema, reduction of pain syndrome, and improvement of the work of internal organs. In folk medicine, there are a lot of recipes from the erythematosus. Let's consider some of them.

  • In case of epileptic seizures, intestinal colic and hemorrhoids, it is necessary to prepare a decoction from the root of eryngium: brew 25 g of dry crushed raw materials with 0.5 liters of boiling water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Let it brew for 50-60 minutes. Drink half a glass 3 times a day.
  • During colds, coughs, whooping cough, urolithiasis, brew 1 tbsp. dry upper shoots of the plant 0.5 liters of hot water. Cook for about 5 minutes, leave under the lid for at least 60 minutes. Take 4 times a day at tbsp.
  • Psoriasis, tuberculosis, lymphostasis, eczema and other skin diseases are treated with lotions from the roots and leaves of the erythematosus. In 1 tbsp. add 0.5 liters of crushed raw materials. Boil for 15 minutes. Insist 30 minutes and strain. Apply to affected areas.
  • For pains of various origins, neurotic disorders, insomnia and kidney diseases, a decoction should be prepared based on the roots of the plant. Pour 10 g of the finished product with 200 g of hot water. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Insist for an hour. Take 1 tbsp. before meals 4-5 times a day.
  • With dropsy, kidney diseases, edema, prostatitis, problems with urination, diseases of the prostate gland, freshly squeezed eryngium juice can help. Grind the peeled roots of the plant in a blender or meat grinder, squeeze. Take the resulting juice in 1 tsp. 3 times a day.
  • The juice also helps with tuberculosis, impotence, stone formation, allergic reactions, asthma, menstrual irregularities, bronchitis. Add honey to the squeezed liquid in a ratio of 4: 1. Dilute 1 tbsp. the resulting mass in 0.5 cups of water. Drink the drink once a day.
  • For whooping cough, cough, acute respiratory diseases, pour 400 g of boiling water 2 tsp. chopped grass. Insist in a thermos for about 2 hours. Filter and consume 100 g of infusion 4 times a day.
  • For a speedy recovery after a heart attack, you need 1 tbsp. the roots and shoots of the erythematosus fill with 250 g of hot water. Keep on fire for 5 minutes. Take 1 tbsp. 5 times a day for 21 days.

Mystical properties

Erythematosus is a perennial, oozing not only medicinal properties, but also mystical ones. The plant is under the auspices of water elements and the planet Venus. This endowed him with powerful energy and magical powers. One of its names - chertogon, speaks for itself. Since ancient times, bunches of grass have been dried and hung over the front door or planted with eringium seedlings in the garden, believing that this will protect the house from evil spirits and otherworldly essences. Also, dry raw materials were laid out in bags and placed in different corners of the house. Einehead is used only in white magic rituals. The most popular and simple rites:

  • protection from the evil eye.
  • cleansing from the negative energy of space.
  • protection from the otherworldly essence.

To remove negative energy in the room, they set fire to a branch and pass through the entire territory with smoke. For the formation of harmony between a loving or married couple, it is necessary to eat half the flower of the plant. Magicians believe that a drop of the sap of this plant in the photo of a loved one helps to get rid of attachment and mental pain after parting.

Planting and care at home

The erythematosus reproduces easily using seeds. They can be planted directly in open ground or as seedlings. If there is a plant in the garden, self-seeding is possible. As soon as you manage to go out into the garden, you can immediately proceed to planting seeds. They are sown shallowly with a distance of 40-50 cm between future bushes.

Seedlings are sown for seedlings in February-March. You can use universal soil. It is not worth deepening the future eringium, but the distance must be made as much as possible or each seed must be planted in a separate container, since the plant does not like frequent transplants. Cover crops with glass or foil. Grow at a temperature of at least 20 ° C on the sunny side. Watering is moderate. The greenhouse is removed with the appearance of sprouts. It is advisable to plant seedlings directly into the ground, without first picking. In May, the seedlings are taken outside and after 1-2 weeks they are planted in the ground.

Erythematosus is unpretentious and not at all demanding to care for.

  • It is important not to overflow the plant even in dry weather.
  • The soil should be well-drained to avoid stagnant water.
  • Weeds are not good neighbors for the eringium, so you need to get rid of them.
  • For lush flowering, pruning should be done after flowering.
  • It is recommended to tie tall species to supports.
  • Most species of bluehead are frost-adapted. But thermophilic varieties should be covered for the winter with dry foliage or spruce branches.

The advantage of the plant is its resistance to pests and diseases.

Description and features of wren

Wren - bird dense physique. The body of the animal looks round, since it has almost no neck.It seems that a large and also round head is attached, bypassing it. The tail also gives compactness to the wren. It does not "shine" in length. The typical tail position of a bird is upturned, especially when the bird is sitting. This further hides the length of the tail.

Painted wren in brownish tones. Chestnut shades prevail. They are lighter on the belly. The back of the bird is 3-4 tones darker.

The wren is a very small bird, even smaller than a sparrow

The color and appearance of the bird are similar to the appearance of birds of the warbler family. The difference is the absence of white eyebrows. In warblers, they are clearly expressed.

Another distinctive feature of the wren is its beak. It is thin and curved. It's easy to catch insects like that. Small midges and spiders are the basis of the bird's diet. Actually, that's why the wren is migratory. In order to stay for the winter, you need to switch to eating frozen berries and seeds. The wren does not compromise, departing to the regions teeming with insects all year round.

Wren on a photo looks diminutive. But the real size of the bird is rarely captured. In fact, the feathered one is about half the size of a sparrow.

The strength of the wren's voice seems out of proportion to its mass. The hero of the article has powerful, major singing. The trills of the birds are energetic and slightly crackling, they sound something like "trick-tee-tik".

Listen to the singing of the wren

Lifestyle and habitat

The favorite habitat of the hero of the article is hidden in his name. The bird often hides in the nettle thickets. However, instead of it, the feathered one can use ferns, raspberries, or simply heaps of brushwood in a windbreak.It is his wren that seeks out in deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests. It is important that they have undergrowth, windbreaks, everything that litters the territory.

Upturned roots, fallen trunks, heaps of brushwood and thickets of shrubs, grasses are necessary for wrens for shelter from predators and nesting. In difficult-to-pass places, passerines hide clutches of eggs. The surrounding trash also serves as a building material for the nests. They are dominated by moss, leaves, small twigs.

If there are thickets, wrens settle in the mountains, and in ravines, and near lakes and swamps, and in deserts. Those who settle in areas with a harsh climate are collectively saved from the cold. Birds huddle in several individuals in the nest. Birds pressed against each other reduce heat loss.

By the way, part of the wren population is sedentary. Birds nesting in the northern regions are migratory. However, wrens are also common outside of Russia. Some species of the family live in America, Africa, Asia, and European countries. In Russia, a representative of the passerine genus appears simultaneously with the first spring thawed patches.

Bird species

Ornithologists count 60 representatives of the wren family. In Russia, the common one is mainly found. In length, it grows up to 10 centimeters, weighs about 7-10 grams. The brown plumage of the bird casts red. On the sides of the common wren, transverse streaks are visible, and above the eyes there is a semblance of light eyebrows.

In America, house wren predominates. It is larger than usual by 3-4 centimeters in length. Representatives of the species weigh about 13 grams. The small size does not prevent house birds from climbing into the nests of other birds and destroying their eggs. In particular, the clutches of nuthatches and tits are eaten. Another species of wrens, the long-tailed one, also suffers from the brownie.

Long-tailed wren, as the name implies, is distinguished by the length of the tail. It does not look like short "brushes" of feathers of congeners. The color of the plumage is also different. There is almost no redness in it. Cold shades of brown predominate.

There is also Stephen's shrub wren... He only lives on Stevens Island. Ptakha is distinguished by its brown-olive plumage and inability to fly. The small wings of an even smaller bird are unable to lift it into the air.

However, does Stephen's wren live? Representatives of the species have not been seen for a long time, and therefore are considered extinct. The cats brought to the island are blamed for the death of the population. They caught all the birds unable to fly away from the offenders.

Stephen's birds are otherwise called New Zealand wrensas Stevens Island is off the coast of New Zealand. Once, scientists say, the extinct species lived on the main lands of the country. But, in the 19th century, the territory was chosen by the Maori.

Stephen's or New Zealand wren

The people brought with them rats called Polynesian. Already guessed who exterminated the bush wrens on the continent? The rats considered flightless birds easy prey. That's cause of death of shrub wrens # 1. Cats just "put the squeeze" on the situation.

There are also fictional types of wren. Suffice it to recall the computer game Wowhead. It has pond wren... This unique item bears little resemblance to a bird. The Wren in the game is a vehicle that gives freedom in water and airless space.

Nutrition of the wren

In the fictional world, wrens are not asked to eat or drink. The real bird eats often, filling its stomach to refusal. This is typical of miniature animals. The crumb that their stomach can accommodate is enough for a small amount of energy. Having consumed it, the wren is hungry again. The bird dies without frequent meals.

The diet of wrens includes snails, centipedes, spiders, insect larvae and pupae, caterpillars, eggs of other small birds and invertebrates.

A part of the wren population that remains overwintering in Russia accepts berries on the menu. But, in general, birds try to stay closer to non-freezing springs and rivers. In them, birds get aquatic insects, larvae.

Reproduction and life expectancy of wren

Small bird wren breeding begins in late April, early May. The nests are built by males. They, if the population is migratory, are the first to return to their homeland. Having prepared a "foothold", males of wrens meet females and young growth.

Males not only build nests, but also carefully choose the territory for them. There should be a source of clean water and thickets of grass and bushes nearby. It is also important that the place you like is spacious enough.

Wrens have 5-7 nests next to each other. Some of them are set up on the ground, others are placed on the branches of bushes, and still others are in the voids of fallen trees. Moreover, each male makes several variants of nests. They are left unfinished. Only that which the female chooses in the end is brought to the "mind".

Wrens make nests thick-walled, with a diameter of about 12 centimeters. Should hold 6 eggs - average clutch volume of wren. In a year, pairs of birds give birth twice, incubating chicks for two weeks.

In the photo there is a wren in the nest

Wren eggs are white with small red dots. In nature, birds have time to raise 8 generations. Wrens rarely live longer than 4 years. If you tame a bird, it can please 10-12 years. These are the records for the longevity of wrens in captivity.