Family Wrens (Troglodytidae)

Least Concern

Sedge Wren (Cistothorus stellaris)


French: Troglodyte à bec court German: Seggenzaunkönig Spanish: Cucarachero culibarrado

T[roglodytes]. stellaris

J. F. Naumann

, 1823,



Recent molecular evidence that this form is less closely related than C. apolinari to other taxa in C. platensis#R prompted study here, resulting in finding that present species differs from C. platensis by its streaked black vs plain buffy-rufous rump (2); less distinctive streaking above (1); and relatively simple, uniform song, expressed as lower number of (truly) different phrases (2), and lower number of different notes (3), as well as a lack of longer notes (ns[1])#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S Canada (E Saskatchewan, C Manitoba, S Ontario and S Quebec) S in USA to N Kentucky, E Pennsylvania and New York; non-breeding winters from E USA (Virginia) S through coastal states to Texas and NE Mexico.

Descriptive notes

10–12 cm; male 7·8–8·9 g, female 7·1–8·9 g. Smallish wren with buff-white streaks on blackish crown and back, shoulders... read more


Males have repertoires of 20–70 song types, which are developed by improvising rather than by... read more


Breeds mainly in dense, tall tracts of sedge and grass in moist meadows, hayfields, and drier edges... read more

Food and feeding

Probably feeds almost exclusively on insects and other invertebrates. No quantitative data from breeding grounds. Stomach contents of... read more


Extended season from May–Sept, early nesting concentrated mostly in NC part of range (e.g. Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota,... read more


Highly migratory (albeit, a short-distance migrant), with no overlap in breeding and non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common to uncommon, with highest breeding numbers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Because of... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Sedge Wren (Cistothorus stellaris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).