Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The canyon wren, Catherpes mexicanus, occurs in southwestern Canada, the western United States, and much of Mexico. Most individuals are non-migratory, and are year-round residents of the same general area. The canyon wren is fairly common in Utah. It is typically found in areas with cliffs, steep canyons, and rock outcrops, but may also be found near unnatural structures, such as buildings. Severe winters can eliminate entire populations of this bird.

Canyon wrens nest on the sides of cliffs, steep rocky canyons, and buildings. Females lay and then incubate four to eight eggs; males feed the females at the nest during the incubation period. Canyon wrens forage in rocky areas and eat primarily insects and spiders. They are a rusty-brown color with a white upper belly and throat.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.