- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Troglodytidae
The small, industrious Rock Wren blends right into its pale grayish brown landscapes of western North America. Rock Wrens constantly hop around rocks, investigating crannies for insects and spiders, which they extract with their delicate bills. This resourceful species thrives even in bleak desert settings occupied by few other birds. Listen for their loud, burry, songs and calls with repeated phrases. Northern and higher-elevation populations move southward, or downslope, for winter.More ID Info
Find This Bird
A morning hike into a dry, rocky environment in the West should turn up a pair of Rock Wrens during nesting season, when males sing and keep a lookout from prominent stony perches. They adapt well to altered landscapes—almost any sparsely vegetated slope with plenty of crevices and some shade could provide habitat for a pair of Rock Wrens. In Mexico and Central America, they use restored Mayan and Aztec ruins as habitat in dry landscapes.
- Cucarachero Roquero (Spanish)
- Troglodyte des rochers (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Rock Wren usually builds a pavement or walkway of small, flat stones or pebbles that leads to the nest cavity. The nest is usually located in a rock crevice out of sight, but the pavement may give away the nest's location. In some cases, both foundations and walkways become elaborate, incorporating hundreds of objects, many human-made. The function of this pavement is unknown.
- The Rock Wren is not known to drink water but instead gets all it needs from its food. Even a few birds kept in captivity did not drink water when it was available.
- The male Rock Wren is a truly remarkable singer and can have a large song repertoire of 100 or more song types, many of which seem to be learned from neighbors.
- Rock Wrens are one of few bird species that uses landscapes significantly altered by industry or other human activity. They have been found nesting in road cuts, railroad tunnels, gravel pits, coalmine spoil piles, clearcuts, and refuse heaps.