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Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus)

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Song of the Canyon Wren

One bird's voice embodies the basalt canyons and deep coulees of the West like no other. It's that of the Canyon Wren. The evocative, cascading notes bounce off the tall, sheer rock faces and jumbled talus slopes.We thank the individuals who underwrite BirdNote. If you'd like to make a gift,... read more »

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Bird Songs Reflect Habitat

The Canyon Wren's eloquent song soothes the soul. Naturalist Ralph Hoffman likened it to "the spray of a waterfall in sunshine." Its close cousin, the Marsh Wren, wound up with a harsh, ratcheting song - about as musical as a tiny machine-gun barrage. Birds' songs mirror their environments. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Birdsong on the Talus

The ringing notes of a Rock Wren’s song reverberate across a steep, rocky slope in the American West. The Rock Wren is most at home in piles of rock rubble at the foot of cliffs, a life zone known as a talus slope. These wrens find shelter, safe nesting, and a good supply of insects in the... read more »

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Voices and Vocabularies - Songs Suit Surroundings

When a Canyon Wren sings, the brilliance of its sweet music can stop you in your tracks. But when its cousin, the Marsh Wren (seen here), sings, you may reach for your earplugs. Why do two closely related birds sing such contrasting songs? In the wren’s world, where song is essential to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching by ear, vocalization
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