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Canyon Wren

From Opus

Catherpes mexicanus
Photo by digishooter Sawmill Rd, Kern Co., California, USA, April 2007
Photo by digishooter
Sawmill Rd, Kern Co., California, USA, April 2007


[edit] Identification

L. 14.5cm (5.75 in)
Ws. 19cm (7.5")

  • Deep rufous back, belly and tail
  • Barring on tail
  • White throat
  • Very long bill
  • Often appears streamlined and elongated

Very long bill for probing in rock crevices.

It is most conclusively identified by habitat and song.

[edit] Distribution

A broad band from the central western U.S. deeply into central Mexico. Pacific Coast of California throughout Baja California where there is suitable habitat.

[edit] Taxonomy

The only species in genus Catherpes.

[edit] Subspecies[1]

Between 3 and 9[2] subspecies are recognised, depending on the authority:

  • C. m. conspersus:
  • C. m. albifrons:
  • South-western Texas and northern Mexico (south to Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí)
  • C. m. mexicanus:
  • Mexico (southern Chihuahua to Isthmus of Tehuantepec)

[edit] Habitat

Canyons, especially with year-round water. Also inhabits cliffs and rock formations.

[edit] Behaviour

Bobs when perched, cocks tail over back.

[edit] Breeding

Nests in cracks in rock walls, flying rapidly and expertly into narrow crevices. Utilizes favorite temporary perches, often repeating the same sequence of flights and landings when returning to the nest.

[edit] Diet

Forages for food (insects and spiders) among rocks.

[edit] Vocalisation

Song: Distinct: a descending series of notes that gradually slows in cadence as each note (Peuw) increases in length. The song can be repeated several times in a minute, and often echoes from the canyon walls, rendering it an integral part of the habitat in which it lives. Reminiscent of a wind-up toy that gradually runs down.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. All About Birds

[edit] External Links


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