Description of the Canyon Wren


The Canyon Wren has reddish upperparts, belly, flanks, and tail, with a contrasting white throat and a grayish head. It does not have an eyeline as many wrens do.


canyon wren






Sexes similar.

Seasonal change in appearance



Juveniles are similar to adults.


Canyon Wrens inhabit canyons, cliffs and rocky areas.


Canyon Wrens eat insects, and spiders.


Canyon Wrens forage on rocky cliffs, on the ground, and in dense vegetation.


Canyon Wrens are resident from southwestern Canada south to Mexico, including most of the western U.S. The population is not well measured, but appears stable

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Canyon Wren.

Wing Shape

The shape of a bird's wing is often an indication of its habits and behavior. Fast flying birds have long, pointed wings. Soaring birds have long, broad wings. Different songbirds will have a slightly different wing shape. Some species look so much alike (Empidonax flycatchers) that scientists sometimes use the length of specific feathers to confirm a species' identification.

Wing images from the University of Puget Sound, Slater Museum of Natural History

Fun Facts

The Canyon Wren’s song is one of the most popular with birders.

Unlike the Rock Wren, which is migratory in a large part of its range, Canyon Wrens are year-round residents.


The song is a cascade of melodic whistles, decreasing in frequency and ending with hissing notes.


The Canyon Wren’s nest is cup of coarse twigs and bark and is lined with finer materials. It is placed in a rock crevice or other sheltered site.

Number: Usually lay 5 eggs.
Color: White with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 12-18 days and fledge at about 15 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for several weeks.