Sunday, May 22, 2016

Marsh Wren

Last Wednesday, 17 May 2016, John Holden and I drove over to the 180th Street Marsh in nearby Dakota County. We encountered these territorial Marsh Wrens. Most territorial defense occurs in early spring. Males chase intruders, often singing vigorously. These squabbles can last for hours. When humans approach nests, however, females are more responsive. Then they call intensely, while the males appear to ignore the intruders (Kroodsma and Verner 2014).

I suspect these wrens are males, but there is no way of telling for sure. In any event, the wren in the bottom photo is one angry bird. This singing bird almost stood on its head, pointed its tail at us, and let us know what it thought of our being in its territory. Alternatively, this wren may have been upset at the presence of the Marsh Wren in the first photo.

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