Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
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Marsh Wren — Song

The Marsh Wren’s song begins with a few scraping notes followed by reedy, gurgling notes, then ending in a short musical trill. Only males sing, and the young birds learn their song from adults, beginning to imitate songs at about 15 days of age. Learning continues throughout their adult life; the birds often practice “countersinging,” where one bird apparently tries to imitate its neighbor’s precise song accents.

Researchers have noted that the Marsh Wren’s song varies regionally: eastern wren songs are slower and more musical than those of western birds, which incorporate a wider range of harsh grating sounds.