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The Canyon Wren

The Canyon Wren is a year round resident of the Grand Canyon, making its home among the cliffs and side canyons, predominantly in the lower reaches and the inner canyon. The call or cry (I wouldn't exactly call it a song) of the Canyon Wren is a strong series of whistles that continuously descends in pitch from the start to the end of the call.

I wish I had a real photo of one of these amazing little birds to post here, but they rarely come close enough to see them close-up and when they do then never seem to stay put long enough.

Many a trip into the inner-depths of the Canyon has been brightened by the companionship of the Canyon Wren. The best trip so far, for being accompanied by these amazing little birds, was a trip over to Clear Creek in May of 1996. It seems that they were everywhere down there which is unusual. You can normally count on encountering one here and there while wandering around the inner-canyon but on this trip they seemed to be occupying every conceivable nook and cranny. Over every rise in the trail and around every bend in the creek there seemed to be another one, alert to us, watching us and crying it's eerie song. Click here or on the picture of the bird to the right to listen to the Canyon Wren. I think this recording was made in a more open area than those in which I heard them call as it does not sound quite the same. When you hear one give its call in a narrow, enclosed area and it echos off of the high cliffs that are all around you it is much more unforgettable. I will never forget the Canyon Wren.

Canyon Wren
Canyon Wren
Catherpes mexicanus

by Bob Ribokas

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The recording of the Canyon Wren's call was borrowed from A Trip Through the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon River Running page.
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