The Sedge Wren

Referred to as the “feathered mouse”, the Sedge Wren is most easily seen in his nesting territory during breeding season.  During this time one must simply listen for his song and follow by ear.  With patience, the vociferous little wren can be viewed.  These guys were plentiful at Dunn Ranch and adjacent Pawnee prairies this past July.  This species has been affected by the destruction wet prairies, meadows and wetland type habitats that they rely upon.

IMG_8897“Sunshine & Song”

IMG_9034“Con Fuoco”

The Sedge Wren

“…wildlife once fed us and shaped our culture.  It still yields us pleasure for leisure hours, but we try to reap that pleasure by modern machinery and thus destroy part of its value.  Reaping it by modern mentality would yield not only pleasure, but wisdom as well.”

-Aldo Leopold-


“Sedge Wren, Autumn 2012”

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera,  EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens, ISO 800,  f/5.6, 1/160 sec

As Noisy as a Mouse

More often heard than seen, this quite secretive wren rarely is found more than a few feet off the ground.  Like a mouse, these guys spend a great deal of time low in the tall grasses and sedge of wet meadows/prairies.  In July and August taking a walk in this type of habitat within their range will certainly guarantee you will hear their consistent staccato vocalizations as they work to define their small territories and keep rival males at bay.  Trying to lay the glass on these birds is much more difficult.  These guys rarely will respond to pishing, and if driven out of their particular patch of grass they will simply skirt above the grasses for a second or two before dropping back into the bush, yielding partial, unsatisfying glimpses at best.  To get this shot, I admit, I used a vocalization playback.  I played just a few bars and waited.  This guy was not happy with that!  He raced out of his hiding whole and began singing forcefully in attempt to send the potential usurper out of his territory.  I was happy with the few quick bursts of the shutter I was able to get and that was that.  He may have been a bit stressed, but I bet the burst of testosterone he received from successfully defending his kingdom more than made up for it.

“Sedge Wren”

Technical details: Canon EOS 7D camera,  EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens, ISO 400,  f/5.6, 1/1250 sec