Posted by: atowhee | January 10, 2023


Gram for gram, few birds are tougher and more aggressive than wrens. They can make even hummers and siskins seem meek and calm. Today I met a couple of Marsh Wrens at Fairview Wetlands here in Salem. Not sure if they’ll stay for nesting season this spring. “Marshy Law” as they see it: the marsh belongs to the wrens. Red-wings be damned and evicted. Top do so the wrens attack nests, break eggs. This usually drives red-wings out of a marsh that the wrens want…to suit the marsh needs standing water most of the summer. Red-wings are far more adaptable and nest up in trees if necessary.
Marsh Wren nests are nearly impermeable unless you are an otter or other strong creature. They build globes of cattail leaves other handy construction material. Marsh Wrens are among the few American birds that build enclosed nests–dippers, orioles, sedge wren, Bushtits. Never as safe as nests in tree cavities or man-made nest boxes, but they’re often good enough.
Here are m eager efforts from many shots I took this morning:

So you see what a Marsh Wren actually looks, and acts, like. Here are a couple exemplary shots by Albert Ryckman:

At Fairview it was quiet along the transect trail…then I saw why:

Above is my morning’s Cooper’s Hawk. Below are images my friend, James Harger, got in his own garden in Douglas County, OR:

Tim Wilson was part of our team on the Jan. 2 Yamhill Valley CBC. We found that count’s first-ever Townsend’s Solitaire. Tim sorta conjured the bird from a distant memory. Well, this time Tim was carrying his camera. Bird’s still along Hidden Hills west of McMinnville:

Fairview Wetlands, Marion, Oregon, US
Jan 10, 2023
16 species

Cackling Goose  120
Canada Goose  22
Northern Shoveler  5
Gadwall  16
Northern Pintail  18
Green-winged Teal  60
Ring-necked Duck  7
Bufflehead  3
American Coot  2
Cooper’s Hawk  1
American Crow  4
Marsh Wren  2
American Robin  9
Song Sparrow  4
Spotted Towhee  1
Red-winged Blackbird  6

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