The Sedge Wren has a brown back and buffy underparts. The
crown is brown streaked with white. The Sedge Wren also
has a white eyebrow, a short, cocked tail, and a short,
slender bill. The sexes are similar in appearance.
A chattering trill is sung by the male Sedge Wren from a
perch atop sedges or small bushes. The song has been
likened to the rattling of a bag of marbles or the
tapping of two sticks together, "chap-chap-chap-chap,
chap, chap p-p-p-r-r-r."
Sedge Wrens prefer drier transitional edges of freshwater
marshes, bogs and wet meadows. The loss of wetland
habitats through human development and degradation is the
primary reason for the decline of Sedge Wren populations.
The Sedge Wren ranges from southeastern
Saskatchewan to southern Maine, south to Arkansas, West
Virginia and Virginia. It also occurs in eastern New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The species winters from
southern Texas and eastern Mexico through the lower
Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast to southern Florida and
north, along the Atlantic coast, to Maryland.
The Sedge Wren's diet consists of moths, beetles, ants,
caterpillars, grasshoppers, other similar insects and
The Sedge Wren breeds in late May through
early June. The nest is built in sedges or rush-like
grasses within 1 to 2 feet of muddy ground or shallow
water. It is a well-hidden ball of woven grasses with an
opening on one side. The interior is lined with cattail
down, fur or feathers. Usually 6 or 7 smooth, white,
short, oval eggs are laid per clutch. Sedge wrens often
lay 2 clutches per year. Incubation is done by the female
and lasts for 12 to 14 days. The young are tended by both
adults but primarily by the female. They leave the nest
12 to 14 days after hatching.
Male Sedge Wrens often build additional "dummy"
nests. These nests are unlined and not as well
constructed as the actual nest. Dummy nests can
accumulate in great numbers where several pairs of Sedge
Wrens are nesting as a colony.
The Sedge Wren has a variety of aliases that give further
testimony to its preferred habitat: meadow wren,
freshwater marsh wren and grass wren. Until recently, it
was known as the short-billed marsh wren and may often be
referred to as such.
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