Friday, June 19, 2009

Sedge Wrens at Ottawa NWR

Sedge Wren is an uncommon and local breeding bird in northwest Ohio, with its locations often changing from year to year, so it can be a tough species for birders to catch up with. Right now there are a number of singing males at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, in the Stange Prairie in the southwestern part of the main unit of the refuge. (See our maps of the refuge, available through the BSBO birding pages under "birding hotspots: directions and maps" for clarification.) On Thursday June 18 there were at least five singing males on the prairie, possibly more. They were singing frequently, and they would often perch up on a stalk above the top of the grass for a minute or two at a time while singing. The birds are far enough out in the grass that you'll need a telescope for good views. The birds might be visible any time from the observation platform on Stange Road just south of Krause Road. Or if you take the Ottawa auto tour (open Saturday June 20, from 9 to 4) you can see them by looking south from the road just across from MS 7. In this area you can actually listen to Marsh Wrens singing from the cattails on the north side of the road, Sedge Wrens singing from the field on the south side.

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