Marsh Wrens

Marsh Wren in Cattail fluff Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) in Cattail fluff –  Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I photographed these male Marsh Wrens during breeding season when they were calling on their territories, while the male and female are alike in most aspects the exception is that only the males sing. And sing they do! Individual western males often have more than 100 songs and they are especially vocal when they are trying to attract a mate.

Marsh Wren male perched on a CattailMarsh Wren male perched on a Cattail –  Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Marsh Wrens are year round residents in Utah except for the northern most portion of the state. They prefer fresh and saltwater marsh habitats where there are grasses, reeds, sedges and cattails present. It can be a challenge to photograph Marsh Wrens in the open but during breeding season the males often perch high on the vegetation while they are singing. They also move very quickly so it can be hard to keep track of them.

Male Marsh Wren singing Male Marsh Wren singing – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1500, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Though Wrens are small in size I find that they have big attitudes. When I lived on the east coast I had Carolina Wrens that nested underneath my kitchen window where my sink was located, when I “dared” to wash my dishes the adult would sit on the windowsill and voice its displeasure. Loudly! That still makes me chuckle.

Marsh Wrens are amusing to observe, photograph and listen to. There is never a dull moment with them.

Mia

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