Rock Wren

Salpinctes obsoletus




Wrens (Troglodytidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with red brown flecks

Number of Eggs:

4 - 10

Incubation Days:

12 - 18

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In cavity or crevice in or among rocks.

Nest Material:

Rootlets, grasses, stems., Lined with feathers, hair and fur.





Rock Wren: Medium-sized 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. Tail is long, buff-and-black barred, and has pale tip; undertail coverts are white with black bars. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has fewer streaks on breast.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Rock Wren: Four to ten white eggs flecked with red brown are laid in a nest made of sticks, leaves, moss, and finer materials, lined with feathers and fur, and hidden in a cavity or crevice, sometimes in a building. Incubation ranges from 12 to 18 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Rock Wren Breeding Male: Eats insects and spiders; forages for food around and between rocks.

Readily Eats

Apple Slices, Peanut Butter


Rock Wren: Song is a mix of buzzing trills "keree-keree-keree, chair, chair, chair, deedle, deedle, deedle, tur, tur, tur, keree." Call is a raspy "tic-keer."

Similar Species

Rock Wren: Canyon Wren is much darker, with white throat, rufous-and-black tail, and different voice.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X