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Sedge Wren

Cistothorus stellaris


This Sedge Wren was not shy about posing for photos very close to the path, and was ironically hanging out in a stand of sedge grass. A small and secretive passerine bird in the family Troglodytidae. It is widely distributed in North America. It is often found in wet grasslands and meadows where it nests in the tall grasses and sedges and feeds on insects. The sedge wren was formerly considered as conspecific with the non-migratory grass wren of central and South America. The sedge wren is a relatively small wren that measures 10 to 12 cm (3.9 to 4.7 in), weighs 7 to 10 g (0.25 to 0.35 oz) and has a wing-chord of 4.1 to 4.6 cm (1.6 to 1.8 in). Wingspan ranges from 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm). Females and males have the same plumage but males are slightly larger. Their head and back are tawny brown streaked with black and white. They have a pale buff supercilium and brown irises. Their rump is orange and tail is tawny brown bared with black. Wings are tawny brown bared with black, white and pale buff. They have a white throat and belly with pale buff on the side. Their beak is long and slender and measures on average 6.77 to 6.95 mm The upper mandible of the beak is brown while the lower mandible is yellow. They have pink legs and feet. Juveniles are overall similar to adults but have less streaking on the head and nape and their chest is paler than adults. The sedge wren can be differentiated from the similar marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris) by its smaller size, streaked crown and different song.


Hadley Valley Preserve is former farmland that has been restored to mostly native prairie with some clumps of shrubs and forest. There is a nice size creek bisecting it. The 807-acre Hadley Valley was acquired between 2000 and 2014. The preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,000 acres. Hadley Valley protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, savanna, wetland and a portion of Spring Creek. Wildlife found at the preserve includes more than 15,000 species of insects, birds, aquatic invertebrates, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including tall swamp marigold, wahoo, great angelica, yellow avens and shingle oak. The site is managed with invasive species control, prescribed burning, native species establishment and soil stabilization to protect and enhance its natural resources. The preserve is the location of the largest restoration effort in the District’s history — a stream de-channelization, wetland restoration and wildlife habitat restoration project in 500 acres of the preserve — performed in partnership with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Openlands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the O’Hare Modernization Program.


The pegman feature for the map in the upper right of all the spottings enables a street view of the spotting locale. Very intestingly, all the photos I saw that it showed were old (prior to most of all of the restoration work), so it shows an intesting before and after comparison.

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32 Comments (1–25)

jazz.mann a year ago

thank you Ingrid3

Ingrid3 a year ago

WOW amazing!

Brian38 a year ago

Thank you jazz.mann.

jazz.mann a year ago

I just discovered the pegman feature for the map in the upper right of all the spottings that enables a street view of the spotting locale. Very intestingly, all the photos I saw that it showed of this preserve were old (prior to most of all of the restoration work), so it shows an intesting before and after comparison. @Brian38: I added some more notes about the restoration that I found.

jazz.mann a year ago

thanks maradithayamb

maradithayamb a year ago

Congratulations jazz.mann

Lol. Well, as exotic as they might be, this little one is really beautiful and lovely. It's a well deserved SOTW!

jazz.mann a year ago

Thank you Leuba!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway a year ago

Great photos of a handsome little bird in its habitat - Congratulations jazz.mann !

jazz.mann a year ago

Thanks Ornithoptera!

Ornithoptera80 a year ago


jazz.mann a year ago

Thanks Mel, Sukanya, Armadeus and Rithmini. It's ironic because I figured that if I was ever lucky enough to get a SOTW, it would be one of my shots from exotic locales like Sri Lanka safaris (leopards, elephants, primates), or my dolphins in mid-air from New Zealand. I never figured I would get the honor for a spotting one hour from my suburban Chicago home in a tiny preserve amidst the midwest farmland.

Mel11 a year ago

Well deserved SOTW, brilliant set of photos

SukanyaDatta a year ago

Congratulations, jazz.mann

Congratz on the SOTW!

armadeus.4 a year ago

Lovely series. Congratulations on your SOTW jazz.mann!

jazz.mann a year ago

thanks Brian

Brian38 a year ago

Congratulations jazz.mann!

jazz.mann a year ago

Wow, thanks to all for the kind recognition! Shout out to Bob Bryerton, a nature interpretor for the Will County Forest Preserve District who lead the hike that enountered this spotting and helped with the ID.

MichaelS a year ago

Hi jazz.mann,

Your Sedge Wren spotting has been voted Spotting of the Week! Thank you for sharing this wonderful spotting with the Project Noah community! We look forward to seeing your next nature discovery!

jazz.mann a year ago

thanks Mark:)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Wonderful photos.

It is... Thank you!

jazz.mann a year ago

wow, that is quite a course load. I am sure you will do well.

I'm still a school student so I don't study in a particular field or subject. But my subjects for this exam are Maths, Science, Sinhala (my mother language), English, History, Buddhism, Commerce and Accounting studies, ICT, and Western Music. We don't study very deeply about any of these but cover a vast area so there's a lot to study lol... That's why I'm away sometimes

Spotted by

Joliet, Illinois, United States

Spotted on Aug 7, 2021
Submitted on Aug 21, 2021

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