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The Marsh Wren is one of the more elusive species of birds to visit southern Arizona during the autumn and winter months. It is fairly common in our marshes and wetlands. However, it is almost invisible. One generally hears the wren’s song, a highly musical trill, without seeing the bird. Or, if one sees it, one usually catches a momentary glimpse without ever visualizing the entire bird.
Given that, I was delighted to be able to photograph a Marsh Wren a few days ago. I was walking a wetlands path when, suddenly, the bird popped out of some dead vegetation and perched right in front of me for just a few seconds.
This is a small bird, like most wren species, about five inches long, and pretty easy to identify from its brown plumage, up-tilted tail, and white eyebrow.
Marsh wrens live all over the United States. Generally, they spend their summers in northern latitudes and fly south for autumn and winter. There are year-round populations in a few locations. Arizona is not one of them. The bird comes in two variants, an eastern and a western variant, with the eastern variant being somewhat more colorful and having a more musical song. Some ornithologists argue that the birds should be divided into two species. The bird featured here is definitely a member of the western variant of Marsh Wren.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x Telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/800.