- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Troglodytidae
The tiny Sedge Wren is so well camouflaged it looks like a fragment of marsh come to life. These short-billed, russet-brown birds live in wet fields and shallow marshes, leaving deeper, reedier areas to their close relative the Marsh Wren. Their reputation as shy, furtive birds reflects this dense habitat, where they spend much of their time out of sight, foraging for insects and spiders on or near the ground. The song is simple compared to many other wrens: a few dry chips followed by a trill.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Sedge Wrens breed in wet fields and shallow upland marshes with scattered bushes. In early morning and late afternoon, they’re fairly common and easy to find in the right habitat—listen for the distinctive trilling song and look for individuals among marsh plants, in bushes, or on low fence lines. They are notorious late nesters, sometimes arriving at a nesting site as late as July. Try “pishing” or imitating the call note to coax them out of hiding.
- Cucarachero Culibarrado (Spanish)
- Troglodyte à bec court (French)
- Cool Facts
Male Sedge Wrens weave multiple nests shaped like hollow balls. The female chooses one of these options, lines it with softer material, and lays her eggs in it.
Sedge Wrens breed in the U.S. and Canada and winter in the southeastern U.S. and northeastern Mexico. A very similar but nonmigratory species, the Grass Wren, occurs in central Mexico and Central and South America. These two species were long considered the same species but were split in 2021.
Some male Sedge Wrens are monogamous, while others may have several mates. When males are monogamous, their nestlings have better survival rates. However, males that tend multiple nests may wind up with more total offspring—so both strategies have their advantages.
The Sedge Wren is one of the most nomadic territorial birds in North America. In a given area, it may be abundant in one year and completely absent the next.