Sunday, August 10, 2014

Marsh Wren

I have already written about Marsh Wren songs and possible cryptic species. Generally I find Minnesota Marsh Wrens more wary than South Dakota birds. Nevertheless, about a half-dozen Marsh Wrens approached John Holden and me while we visited the 180th Street Marsh in nearby Dakota County on 30 July 2014. They were difficult to photograph, as they bounced about, calling all the while, and the camera’s autofocus confused by all the cattail leaves.

Male Marsh Wrens often mate with two or more females. The males build multiple nests, often at least six dummy nests for every nest used by a female. This nest building, and their plethora of song types, apparently advertise an individual male’s potential as a successful breeder (Kroodsma and Verner 2014).

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