Sedge Wren

(Cistothorus platensis)

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N4B, N5N - Apparently Secure Breeding, Secure Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding


not listed

Species in Greatest Conservation Need

Sedge Wren
Photo by Tom Baker




4 to 4½ in length

5½ wingspan




Similar Species


Wet sedge meadows and grassy fields, marshes, bogs, beaver ponds



Late April to late May and early August to mid-October









Common breeder, seldom seen migrant



The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map



Aves (birds)


Passeriformes (perching birds)


Troglodytidae (wrens)


Cistothorus (marsh wrens and allies)


The North American Sedge Wren is traditionally classified as Cistothorus platensis stellaris, a subspecies of Cistothorus platensis that includes many Central American and South American subspecies. Based on a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2014, it was suggested that the North American bird be separated into its own new species Cistothorus stellaris. Avibase, The World Bird Database, has adopted this change. The American Ornithological Society (AOS) has not. AOS bills itself as “the official source on the taxonomy of birds found in North and Middle America.” Other taxonomy sources, including NAIC and ITIS, and bird sources including Cornell Lab of Ornithology, follow the AOS in rejecting the change.

In 2021, the AOS released the 62nd supplement to the 7th edition of the Checklist of North and Middle American Birds. In this release, the split was officially recognized, and the Sedge Wren became Cistothorus stellaris for those of us in North America.


Subordinate Taxa

Equatorial Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis)

Falklands Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis falklandicus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis alticola)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis boliviae)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis elegans)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis graberi)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis graminicola)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis hornensis)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis lucidus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis jalapensis)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis minimus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis platensis)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis polyglottus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis potosinus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis russelli)

Northern Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis stellaris)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis tamae)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis tinnulus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis tolimae)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis tucumanus)

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis warneri)





Common Names

Sedge Wren was formerly known as Short-billed Marsh Wren. In Europe it is known as Grass Wren.










Visitor Photos

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Tom Baker

Sedge Wren   Sedge Wren
Sedge Wren   Sedge Wren Photos








Sedge Wren
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren
JMC Nature Photos

Sedge Wren



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

Sedge Wren


Published on Jul 16, 2013

This wren is uncommon and local. It can be found in central and eastern North America. in grassy marshes, sedges, grassy meadows. It has a faint eyebrow stripe, a streaked crown and back. It is a tiny secretive bird which is more often heard than seen. It's song is a dry chattering "chop chop chop chop chop chopper-rrrrrr".

Sedge Wren song
Stoil Ivanov


Uploaded on May 23, 2010

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis ) singing in Goose Lake Prairie

Sedge Wren
Andrew Reago


Published on Aug 5, 2012

Digiscoped at Ted Shanks Conservation Area in Missouri on 8/5/2012

Cucarachero Sabanero - Cistothorus platensis- Sedge Wren SONG - Aves Parque natural Chingaza
Colombia Wildlife - Oswaldo Cortes


Published on Sep 3, 2013

Cucarachero Sabanero - Cistothorus platensis- Sedge Wren SONG - Aves Parque natural Chingaza

Sedge Wren (Troglodytidae: Cistothorus platensis) Male Singing
Carl Barrentine


Uploaded on Jul 6, 2009

"To see temporarily is sufficient; if you can see it for a fleeting second, it is enough." --Krishnamurti Photographed at East Grand Forks, Minnesota (06 July 2009).



Visitor Sightings

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Tom Baker

Location: Edenbrook Conservation Area

Sedge Wren Sightings






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