Fun Marsh Wren Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Marsh Wren Facts For Kids

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Marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) are songbirds of North America. A marsh wren's song is a harsh-sounding song. This species belongs to the order Passeriformes family. In the breeding season, the marsh wrens assemble on common mating grounds. Even though small in size, these North American birds are pretty aggressive; males of this species destroy and kill eggs and nestlings of others in order to gain territory and food. Eastern and western marsh wrens sing different songs. Western marsh wrens sing ‘tuk-tukrrrr’ while eastern marsh wrens sing more like ‘bzt’. The tone of a western marsh wren is harsh, and that of an eastern marsh wren is more musical.

Here are some interesting aspects about these birds of North America for your perusal. Afterward, do check our other articles on house wren facts and Pacific wren facts.

Fun Marsh Wren Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Bugs, Caterpillars, Chrysalids

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

3-10 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.3-0.5 oz (0.008-0.014 kg)

How long are they?

3.9-5.5 in (9.9-13.97 cm)

How tall are they?

5.8-5.9 in (14.7-14.9 cm)

What do they look like?

Rusty Brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Marshes, Roadside Ditches, Invasive Plants


Mexico, Canada, United States









Marsh Wren Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a marsh wren?

The marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris) is a bird. It is a small-sized songbird and is highly territorial. It can be found living among its own species.

What class of animal does a marsh wren belong to?

The marsh wren, of order Passeriformes, belongs to the class Aves of animals. These North American birds belong to the family of brown passerine birds.

How many marsh wrens are there in the world?

There are approximately 9.4 million marsh wrens birds in the world. The population of the long-billed marsh wren is abundant and they are nowhere near extinction. Thus conservation seems unnecessary.

Where does a marsh wren live?

A marsh wren lives in the wetlands so that there is no shortage of food and water as there are abundant life forms in wetlands. They are found on the North American continent from Canada to Mexico.

What is a marsh wren's habitat?

A marsh wren's habitat consists of wetlands. These North American birds occupy salt marshes and freshwater marshes. This species' habitat is usually filled with cattails, sedges, bulrushes, cordgrass, etc. Male marsh wrens build nests with grass, cattails, or sedges. Their nests are dome-shaped. It is said that the habitat of the winter range is the same as the breeding range. The males construct multiple dummy nests in their territory to court females during the breeding season.

Who do marsh wrens live with?

Marsh wrens live in groups with other birds from their family and species. Males are territorial and will share their territory only with their mates.

How long does a marsh wren live?

Marsh wrens can live for up to two years. These birds of North America have an average lifespan for birds their size.

How do they reproduce?

Marsh wrens' breeding season varies depending on the number of available birds in their species. Marsh wrens are polygamous birds, meaning both males and females mate with multiple partners. Male marsh wrens arrive on the breeding ground and establish their territory. Within five to seven days, the males build several dummy nests. The females arrive on the breeding ground seven days after the males. Males approach females and sing to impress them. If a female chooses to mate with a male, she selects one of his dummy nests and adds grassroots to it. The nests selected by the females are called courting nests.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of marsh wrens is of Least Concern. Hence, there are no worries about the conservation of this species.

Marsh Wren Fun facts

What do marsh wrens look like?

Marsh Wren

Marsh wrens are rusty brown in color. Their upper side is darker compared to its lower side. They have black and white streaks on their feathers. The tail of a marsh wren is short and mostly held almost vertically. They have a narrow beak that is yellow from the inside. Their legs are thin and brown in color. Marsh wrens have oval-shaped black eyes. The males and females are almost indistinguishable in this species.

How cute are they?

Marsh wrens are extremely cute. Their tiny size and bright colors make them desirable to look at.

How do they communicate?

Marsh wrens love to sing songs a lot. They can sing hundreds of tones. This species uses their singing for communication. Each tone expresses something different. Besides songs, they make certain wing movements to deliver a silent message. Males sing during the breeding season to impress females. Western males sing 100-200 types of songs while eastern males sing only 40-60 types. Western females sing more down-slurred syllables than eastern females.

How big is a marsh wren?

The marsh wren is a tiny little bird. Its height ranges from 3.5-5 in (8.89-12.7 cm). They can grow to be 3.9-5.5 in (9.9-13.97 cm) long. They have an average wingspan of 5.9 in (15 cm). Marsh wrens are around five times bigger than a caterpillar.

How fast can a marsh wren fly?

A marsh wren can fly at the speed of 10-20 mph (16-32 kph). Considering their size, they are very fast fliers.

How much does a marsh wren weigh?

A marsh wren weighs 0.3-0.5 oz (0.008-0.014 kg) . They are very lightweight birds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The female marsh wren is called a hen, whereas the male marsh wren is called a cock.

What would you call a baby marsh wren?

A baby marsh wren is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Marsh wrens eat bugs, caterpillars, chrysalids, beetles, ants, wasps, spiders, carabids, coccinellids, flies, snails, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and insects. Their diet is largely insectivorous.

Are they predators?

No, marsh wrens are not predators. However, considering their carnivorous diet, you can say they are mini-predators.

Would they make a good pet?

A marsh wren would very likely make a good pet. They are small and low-maintenance birds. All you need to do is feed them and supply water for drinking and bathing.

Did you know...

The breeding range of marsh wrens is from the Atlantic coast to Nebraska and from southern Illinois to northwestern Mexico.

It takes 12-16 days for marsh wren eggs to hatch. After the hatching of the eggs, the nesting period is usually between 13-15 days.

Marsh wren's call is easily distinguishable due to its gurgling sound.

Biologists believe that eastern and western marsh wrens are two different species. They do not, however, have enough evidence to distinguish between eastern and western marsh wrens.

The songs of westerner marsh wrens are often compared to that of the eastern marsh wrens.

The marsh wren's call

Marsh wrens were formally called the long-billed marsh wrens due to their long bills. They are found in marshlands, and that is where they get their name.

Comparisons with other wrens

House wrens have a shorter beak as compared to marsh wrens. They are brown in color, whereas marsh wrens are rusty brown. Their habitats vary as well. Marsh wrens live in marshlands, while house wrens are found in scrubs and bushes. A winter wren's habitat includes forest undergrowths.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including canyon wren facts, or pied crow facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Marsh wren coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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