Rock Wren

Salpinctes obsoletus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Wrens (Troglodytidae)

Code 4

ROWR

Code 6

SALOBS

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Rock Wren is a small songbird, measuring only 12 cm in length. As a member of the wren family, this bird breeds in dry and rocky habitats such as canyons located from Canada to Costa Rica. Nests are cup-shaped and built in a crevice among its preferred rocks. Northern populations will fly south to the central United States, southwest Canada, and South America in winter months. Southern populations are permanent residents. Food is hunted on the ground, and includes insects and spiders. The conservation status of the Rock Wren is currently Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Rock Wren: Medium wren with white-speckled gray upperparts, brown rump, white-over-black eye brow, white throat and breast with fine gray streaks, and buff-yellow flanks and belly. The long tail is buff-and-black barred, and has a pale tip; undertail coverts are white with black bars.


Range and Habitat

Rock Wren: Breeds from southern British Columbia to southern Saskatchewan, southward to California and Texas, and south into Central America. Spends winters in the southern U.S., from California to Texas and southward into Mexico. Frequents arid or semiarid areas with exposed rock; also alpine habitats.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"keree-keree-keree, chair, chair, chair, deedle, deedle, deedle, tur, tur, tur, keree", "tic-keer"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It is not known to drink water, but instead gets all it needs from its food.
  • It usually builds a walkway of small pebbles that leads to the nest cavity. The function of this pavement is unknown.
  • 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.
  • A group of wrens has many collective nouns, including a "chime", "flight", "flock", and "herd" of wrens.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Rock Wren

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X