Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren
Cistothorus platensis
Perching Birds | Family: Wrens, Troglodytidae

An estimated 6% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

The Sedge Wren is most often seen as it is flushed from grass and flies off, only to drop from view a few feet away. Its flight is distinctive, the wings vibrating stiffly as the bird seems to float over the ground. Like other wrens, it builds "dummy" nests, often hidden in dense marsh grass.

Description

4-4 1/2" (10-11 cm). A tiny, secretive wren of grassy marshes. Buff-colored, with finely streaked crown and back. Best distinguished by voice and habitat.

Voice

A series of harsh notes, sounding like two pebbles tapping together; often heard at night.

Nesting

5-7 white eggs in a globular mass of marsh grass with a side entrance. The nest is lined with feathers and hair that has been woven into the top of a dense stand of grass or sedge.

Habitat

Grassy freshwater marshes and sedges; also brackish marshes and wet meadows in winter.

Range/Migration

Breeds from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick south to Kansas, Missouri, and Delaware. Winters north to southern Illinois and Virginia. Very local.