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11Â·5â€“12Â·5 cm (4Â½-5 in); A small, stocky wren with a relatively long bill and relatively bright, contrasting markings.
Fourteen or fifteen subspecies are recognized:
A study shows genetic divisions within this species possibly indicating a future split.
Subspecies deserticola is not recognised by all authorities.
This species occurs almost exclusively in marshes with tall vegetation.
Solitary or in pairs. Tends to remain hidden in tall reed grasses; most often heard rather than seen. Forages within the reeds for food. The males often appear perched on vertical reeds and singing emphatically. Has been known to destroy the eggs of other birds nesting in the grasses, and having its own eggs vandalized in turn.
Polygamous. The male builds several globular nests attached to the reeds with side doors; the female chooses one and finishes construction, lining it with feathers and plant material. The nests can be in colonies if the breeding population is dense enough. Incubation of eggs is 12-16 days, by the female. Young stay in nest 11-16 days. Two broods per year.
Includes insects, spiders and snails, and sometimes other birds' eggs.
Song: Complex trilling and gurgling songs, with a wide repertoire, especially among the western subspecies. Also sings at night.
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