Salpinctes obsoletus
(Rock Wren)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Troglodytidae
Family Description: Wrens

Physical Description:
5-6" (13-15 cm). Light brown above, white below. Speckled with black and white above, indistinctly with brown below. Rust-colored rump. Short, pale eyebrow.

Similar Species- Canyon Wren

Variety of repeated trills, double notes, and raspy single notes.

Breeds from south-central British Columbia, east to southern Saskatchewan, portions of Great Plains, western Oklahoma, and central Texas, and south to southern Baja California and Costa Rica. Winters from northern California, east to southern Utah, south to Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Texas, and further south through breeding range. Occasionally winters in northwestern and central United States.

Found in arid or semi-arid habitat, in shrubby areas in rocky canyons and cliffs, on rock slides and boulder-strewn slopes, and in arroyos with sparse vegetation. Sometimes seen around concrete and stone buildings. Similar to Canyon Wren in habitat, but in Idaho, Rock Wrens are more widely distributed.

Probably feeds on insects and spiders, as well as earthworms and larval insects.

Nests in cavity or crevice, under or near rocks. Forages on ground, or takes food from foliage. Few studies have been conducted on this species.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 4-10 eggs (usually 5-6) in northern range, fewer in south. Young are tended by both parents.

Element Code: ABPBG03010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Photo by Marcus Martin and J. Spendelow,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.