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Canyon Wren

Catherpes mexicanus

Length: 5.75 inches Wingspan: 7.5 inches Seasonality: All Seasons
ID Keys: Dark reddish brown overall, with rusty tail with black barring, white throat and chest, long decurved bill.

Canyon Wren - Catherpes mexicanusThe Canyon Wren is well named, as they are most often encountered along steep canyon walls and rock faces.  Their beautiful song is usually heard before the bird is seen, as they seem to disappear in and out of rocky crevices in search of insects.  They are learning to adapt to a human presence, and have begun nesting in and around buildings, especially those made of stone.

Habitat: They are usually around habitats with steep rocky slopes or canyon walls, often in areas with dense low growth (such as the base of a canyon wall), or in boulder piles, reservoir rip-rap, and occasionally around buildings.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects and spiders.

Behavior: Forages by hopping around on the rock canyon walls, talus piles, or through dense undergrowth and thickets.  Much of the time is spent probing in crevices for insects and spiders.

Nesting: June and July

Song: A liquid cascade of clear notes. 

Migration: A permanent resident throughout its range in the western U.S. and Mexico.

Interactive eBird Map: Click for access to an interactive eBird map of Canyon Wren sightings

Similar Species: Rock Wren

Conservation Status: Still common in many areas, but surveys have indicated some declines in recent decades.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Canyon Wren

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - Canyon Wren"

3) eNature.com: Canyon Wren

Photo Information: May 1st, 2004 -- Black Hills -- Doug Backlund

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Canyon Wren - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Uncommon permanent resident in the Black Hills.

Additional Canyon Wren Photos
 
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