This Sedge Wren was discovered by Peter Metropulos while scouting for a Christmas bird count. This bird's extreme scarcity in California may reflect the difficulty of finding this furtive wren more than its true rarity; in many situations it acts like a mouse. This Half Moon Bay bird called frequently (a thin, often doubled, 'tschip-tschip') but was exceptionally difficult to see; these are very lucky photos. They do show some key characters, including the shortish bill (compared to Marsh Wren), the very buffy flanks and underparts, the relatively plain face, and, perhaps as important as any character, barred upperwing coverts.
SEDGE WREN is a rare California vagrant with just 7 records, including the bird shown above. Five were fall migrants in Oct-Nov (4 on the coast, one in Death Valley vicinity) plus the San Mateo Co. bird which could be a late migrant or may winter. The exception to this pattern was a singing male on territory for a month in summer 1986 in Little Shasta Valley SIS. That bird was discovered by Ray Ekstrom while undertaking a Breeding Bird Survey. Thus both birds I've seen were the result of good birders undertaking useful projects for the greater good. These are my personal Sedge Wren records:
6/10/86 Little Shasta Valley SIS singing male; sketch & description in my notesSee the family page for county abbreviations. All photos & text © 2002 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
12/7/02 Half Moon Bay SB, S.M. photos & description in my notes
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