Monday bird: Marsh wren

January 6, 2014 • 3:07 am

This hard-to-photograph bird (Cistothorus palustris) was sent by Stephen Barnard (of course), who added these notes from Idaho:

These are secretive and elusive birds. I had to show this photo to my Idaho birder friends to ID it. Then I listened to its songs on my iPad and realized that I hear it a lot in the spring, and it must be common, but I never see it. It was one of those aha! moments.

It was eating midges from the water surface.

Marsh Wren

Here is its range map from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, where it is described like this: “A common and noisy inhabitant of cattail marshes, the Marsh Wren sings all day and throughout the night.”

Its diet: mostly insects.


The CLO also recordings of its lovely twittering song.

10 thoughts on “Monday bird: Marsh wren

  1. Where ranges overlap – I mean where they are cfound all year – I wonder if it is the same individuals? I wonder if they all migrate, only ones from further north move to places where others move further south, or are we seeing two overlapping forms with some individuals migrating & some staying put? I am sure I read research last year about such a case in North America with a passerine…?

    1. You may be mistaking midges for mosquitos. Many people do. Midges (at least the kind we have here — it’s a imprecise name) are completely harmless and are an important food source for trout and many species of birds. Unlike other aquatic insects they will emerge in the winter and are available year-round.

  2. Looks like a Spelunking Wren from the habitat, but I’m guessing it’s just investigating a hole in the bank of your creek.

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