The rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) is a small songbird of the wren family native to South America and western North America. It is the only species in the genus Salpinctes. Adults are about 12 cm long. They have grey-brown upperparts with small black and white spots and pale grey underparts with a light brown rump. Additional distinctive features include a light grey line over the eye, a long slightly decurved thin bill, a long barred tail and dark legs. They actively hunt on the ground, around and under objects, probing with their bill as their extraction tool. They mainly eat insects and spiders. Its song is a trill that becomes more varied during the nesting season.
These birds are permanent residents in the south of their range, but northern populations migrate to warmer areas from the central United States and southwest Canada southwards. They are occasional vagrants in the eastern United States. During the breeding season, they move to dry, rocky locations, including canyons, from southwestern Canada south to Costa Rica to build cup nests in a crevice or cavity, usually among rocks.
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salpinctes obsoletus.|
- Rock Wren by John Audubon
- Rock Wren - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Rock Wren - eNature.com
- Rock Wren - USGS Patuxent Bird Information
- Rock Wren photo gallery VIREO