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Marsh Wren

Cistothorus palustris ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: TROGLODYTIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common and noisy inhabitant of cattail marshes, the Marsh Wren sings all day and throughout the night.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
3.9–5.5 in
10–14 cm
Weight
0.3–0.5 oz
9–14 g
Other Names
  • Long-billed Marsh Wren
  • Troglodyte des Marais (French)
  • Chivirín pantanero, Saltapared Pantanero (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Eastern and western populations of the Marsh Wren show slight differences in appearance, but large differences in song. In general, western birds are paler and drabber, and sing less musical songs. The differences may mean that the two forms are separate species.

Habitat


Marsh

Nests in variety of marshes, especially with dense reeds.

Food


Insects

Insects and spiders.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–10 eggs
Egg Description
Brown with dark spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with only wisps of down.
Nest Description

Domed nest of grasses and sedges with entrance on side, lashed to vegetation.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Ground Forager

Actively moves about on or near marsh floor, gleans insects from plants and just below water.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Declining in eastern portion of range, increasing in western.

Credits

  • Kroodsma, D. E., and J. Verner. 1997. Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris). In The Birds of North America, No. 308 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

Marsh Wren Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings