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Saturday, February 18, 2012

More often heard than seen

Marsh Wrens (Cistothorus palustris) nest in freshwater and brackish water marshes on Bodega Head.  They are very vocal — even more impressive than Bewick's Wrens, individual male Marsh Wrens on the West Coast can learn up to 200 different songs!

The Birds of North America account begins by stating that Marsh Wrens are more often heard than seen — an accurate description for this visually elusive species.  They are often hidden among cattails, sedges, or rushes.  I was happy to get a few photos today.  The first is the best, but the others allow you to see different angles, field marks, and behaviors. These images were taken in the marsh opposite Westside Park.

You can listen to a marsh wren song here.

Compare with Bewick's Wren (photos posted on 12 February 2012).

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