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    Marsh Wren Life History


    Habitat MarshesNests in variety of marshes, especially with dense reeds.Back to top


    Food InsectsInsects and spiders.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Shrub

    Nest Description

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

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:3-10 eggs
    Egg Description:Brown with dark spots.
    Condition at Hatching:Helpless with only wisps of down.
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    Behavior Ground ForagerActively moves about on or near marsh floor, gleans insects from plants and just below water.Back to top


    Conservation Low ConcernMarsh Wren populations increased between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 9 million, with 81% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 18% breeding in Canada, and 38% wintering in Mexico. The species rates a 7 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Marsh Wren is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Back to top


    Kroodsma, Donald E. and Jared Verner. 2013. Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

    North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

    Partners in Flight. 2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

    Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from

    Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

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