Catherpes mexicanus


The Canyon Wren is often found creeping like a mouse around the rock of remote, steep-walled canyons and on rocky mountainsides. The ability to creep around rocks is aided by a low center of gravity, large feet, and sharp claws. The Canyon Wren feeds on spiders and insects, that it gleans from rock surfaces and crevices. The Canyon Wren's vertebrae column is attached higher on the skull than it is on most birds, which, along with a more flattened skull, allow it to reach into tighter crevices. This small bird is often heard long before it's seen.


Rusty brown back, wings, belly, and tail. Dark brown crown and side of face. White throat, lower face, and upper chest. Long, thin, downward-curved bill. Upperparts lightly spotted with small black and white spots. Tail has thin, black bars. Black legs. Sexes similar. 5.5 to 6 inches in length.


Rocky canyons and cliffs.


4-6 white eggs lightly speckled with reddish-brown spots. The eggs have a ? day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is a shallow cup of moss, plant down, and feathers built in a rock crevice.

Observed Locations:

  • Senetac Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

  Listen To This Bird ( mp3 )
         Song #1

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