Nests & Eggs: Marsh Wren

Plate 44: Long-Billed Marsh Wren

Cistothorus palustris

Nervous, active little bird with short wings that hides in long grasses.

Crown brown, bordered on sides with black; white line over eye; middle of back black streaked with white, rest of back brown; wings and tail barred with black; underparts white; sides reddish brown.

Nest.—A globular, strongly built structure of grasses and cat-tail leaves, made while the materials are damp, and placed among weeds or rushes a few feet from ground or water; the entrance is on the side. Eggs: 5 to 9, dark brown, or light brown, heavily and finely spotted with darker brown.

To find these wrens, wade out into the very heart of the marsh. Here the clackety songs of the nervous creatures announce to us that we are near the nest. We find three or four of these, but discover no eggs. Patient hunting finally reveals a set of eggs after we have located perhaps a dozen “dummy” nests.

An Introduction to the Birds of Pennsylvania by George Miksch Sutton
  • Print out the notebooking pages provided below.
  • Read the marsh wren story in Birds That Every Child Should Know out loud.
  • Have a younger student orally narrate what was read. He can then copy a few lines of his narration onto the notebooking pages.
  • Older students can read the text, Plate XLIV: Long-Billed Marsh Wren, and provide a written narration.
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on. Another option is to use the printables provided below.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy.
  • Learn more about the marsh wren at Cornell.
  • On one notebooking page note the facts:
    • Description.
    • Habitat.
    • Range.
    • Food.
    • Nest.
    • Eggs.
    • Call.

Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

Long-Billed Marsh Wren Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Long-Billed Marsh Wren
Bird picture for notebook.

Marsh Wren Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the entire series:
Nest & Eggs ~ Intro & Free eBook
Free Bird Studies: Nests & Eggs ~ Complete Series

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