The adult Marsh Wren have brown upperparts with a light brown belly and flanks and a white throat and breast. The back is black with white stripes. They have a dark cap with a white line over the eyes and a short thin bill.

Habitat and Distribution

Their breeding habitat is marshes with tall vegetation such as cattails across North America. In the western United States, some birds are permanent residents. Other birds migrate to marshes and salt marshes in the southern United States and Mexico.


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


The Marsh Wrens build a nest which is an oval lump attached to marsh vegetation, entered from the side. . The clutch is normally 4 to 6 eggs, though the number can range from 3 to 10. The male builds many unused nests in his territory. He may puncture the eggs and fatally peck the nestlings of other birds nesting nearby, including his own species .

Calls and Songs

It is the male who sings a loud gurgle used to declare ownership of territory; western males have a more varied repertoire.