|Conservation status||Common within its range, but some indications of declining numbers recently. Was formerly more numerous around towns; may have declined after invasion of other cavity-nesting birds such as House Sparrows.|
|Habitat||Cliffs, canyons, rockslides; stone buildings. Generally around areas with steep rock faces and some dense low growth, as in steep-walled canyons or around the bases of cliffs; also in boulder fields and sometimes around stone buildings. May move into denser streamside vegetation away from cliffs in winter.|
Forages by hopping actively about among rock piles, up and down faces of steep rocky cliffs, or through very dense undergrowth in canyons. Does much of its foraging in sheltered spots, such as under rocks or in crevices. Uses its very long bill to probe deeply into crevices among the rocks. Usually forages alone, sometimes in pairs. Has been seen stealing spiders from the nest of a predatory wasp.
5, sometimes 4-6, rarely 3-7. White, lightly dotted with reddish brown. Incubation is by female, 12-18 days. Male may feed female during incubation. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest at about 15 days, may remain with parents for several weeks or more.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest at about 15 days, may remain with parents for several weeks or more.
Mostly insects and spiders. Feeds on a variety of insects, including termites, ants, beetles, leafhoppers, and others, also spiders.
Male defends nesting territory by singing. Nest site is usually in hole or crevice in rocky cliff, among rock piles, on ledge in cave; sometimes in crevices in stone buildings, in abandoned sheds, in hollow stumps, or similarly protected sites. Nest (built by both sexes) has foundation of twigs, grass, bark chips, and other coarse items, topped with cup of softer materials such as fine grass, moss, leaves, spiderwebs, plant down, animal hair, feathers. May add odd debris to nest.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Unlike the Rock Wren, a permanent resident throughout its range, but may move into denser habitats in winter.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsA high, clear series of descending notes; tee-tee-tee-tee-tew-tew-tew-tew.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Canyon Wren
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Canyon Wren
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.