Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Sedge Wren

Cistothorus platensis

Length: 4.5 inches Wingspan: 6 inches Seasonality: Summer / Migrant
ID Keys: Brown upperparts with buffy underparts, narrow streaks on crown and back, short bill and tail.

Sedge Wren - Cistothorus platensis A shy resident of damp meadows and grasses.  The Marsh Wren is a close relative, but is normally found in deeper-water marshes than is the Sedge Wren.  Sedge Wrens generally stay well hidden, generally coming into view only when singing.  Like some other Wrens, the male builds many dummy nests, only completing the one that the female selects. 

Habitat: Grassy marshes, wet meadows, lush grassy fields.  Not found in deeper-water marshes like the Marsh Wren, prefers shallow-water marshes or lush dryland fields.

Diet: Mostly insects. 

Behavior: Primarily forages on the ground or very low in the vegetation, clambering around in search of insects.  Generally stays well hidden, although males will make themselves quite visible when in song.

Nesting: June and July

Song: Bold staccato notes followed by a rapid trill.

Migration: Neotropical migrant, summering in the Midwest, eastern Great Plains, and south-central Canada.  Winters along U.S. Gulf coast and points south.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Sedge Wren sightings

Similar Species: Marsh Wren

Conservation Status: Declined in the 19th century and first part of the 20th century, but numbers have been on the increase in the last few decades. They are found over a wide geographic area and are common in some locations. The IUCN thus considers the Sedge Wren to be a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Sedge Wren

2) WhatBird - Sedge Wren

3) Audubon Guide - Sedge Wren

Photo Information: July 28th, 2006 -- Northwest of Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County -- Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Sedge Wren photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Sedge Wren - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Locally common summer breeder in the eastern half of the state.  Accidental migrant and summer resident in the west.

Additional Sedge Wren Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
 Sedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensisSedge Wren - Cistothorus platensis