A Couple Life Birds
By: Pat Coate
Picked up marsh wrens earlier this year down in Delaware. These are wetland birds that are partial to cattails and whose diet consists largely of insects. They vigorously defend their territory and will try to destroy the nests, eggs and nestlings of neighboring birds. This behavior is thought to reduce competition for food.
Not sure if this was an active nest or a decoy nest. Male marsh wrens migrate earlier than the females. The male will build several nests in his territory to try and attract a female. Once she has chosen a mate, the female may select one of the pre-built nests or build a new one herself.
This brightly billed coastal bird is aptly named as it truly feeds on oysters (as well as clams and mussels). In the U.S., this bird can be found along the shore from New England down to Florida. This bird was seen in Virginia.
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