Sedge Wren

The Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis) is a small songbird of the Wren family.


Adults have brown upperparts with a light brown belly and flanks and a white throat and breast. The back has pale streaks. They have a dark cap with pale streaks, a faint line over the eye and a short thin bill.

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 3.75 inches
  • Short, thin bill
  • Indistinct supercilium (line above eye)
  • Brown upperparts with pale streaks on back and crown
  • Buffy breast and flanks
  • Wings and tail barred with black
  • Short tail frequently held upright
  • Sexes similar
  • Found in wet fields and marshes
  • Similar species: Other wrens with indistinct superciliums (eye brows) are House, Winter and Rock Wrens. Winter Wren is more reddish-brown above, darker below and has a shorter tail. House Wren lacks white streaking on the crown and back and is less buffy on the underparts. Rock Wren is larger with a contrast between the gray back and brown rump and has buffy tips to the tail.
Sedge Wren


Their breeding habitat is wet meadows and marsh edges in eastern North America and central Canada. These birds migrate to coastal areas in the southeastern United States. This bird’s numbers are declining, possibly due to loss of habitat.


The nest is a round lump attached to low vegetation, entered from the side; it is usually well-hidden. The male often builds several unused nests in his territory; he may puncture the eggs of other birds nesting nearby.


These birds forage low in vegetation, sometimes flying up to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects, also spiders.

Call / Song

The male’s song is a rattling trill.

Photo of author

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