Canyon Wren Life History


Habitat DesertsCliffs, canyons, rocky outcrops, and boulder piles.Back to top


Food InsectsSpiders and insects.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cliff

Nest Description

A cup made of twigs and other coarse material, lined with lichens, soft plant material, wool, webs, or feathers. In caverns, crevices, or attached to rock face, protected from above by ledge or shelf.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:3-7 eggs
Egg Description:White, with small, faint reddish-brown dots.
Condition at Hatching:Entirely featherless, pink, with eyes closed.
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Behavior Ground ForagerGleans spiders and insects from rock surfaces, often from tight crevices.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernCanyon Wren populations appear to have been stable between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. However the species is not well monitored, and it may be declining in some areas. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 400,000, with 68% living in the U.S., and 32% in Mexico. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Canyon Wren is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List.Back to top


Jones, Stephanie L. and Joseph Scott Dieni. 1995. Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. Link (2017). The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966–2015. Version 2.07.2017. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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