eWestern BirdsThe Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists
Vol. 47, No. 1
Western Field Ornithologists
Canyon Wrens Breeding in Desert Riparian Vegetation: First Records in a Novel Habitat
Dawn Fletcher, David Vander Pluym, Mel Preston, and Amy Leist
ABSTRACT: The Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus) is widespread but uncommon in the arid regions of western North America, typically breeding in rock faces and cliffs. Here we present the first records of the Canyon Wren breeding in riparian woodland, a habitat considered atypical for this species. Additionally, we recorded the species’ first known nesting in a live palm tree (Washingtonia filifera). As part of long-term monitoring of riparian birds for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, we recorded 89 nesting territories of the Canyon Wren from 2011 to 2014. Of 75 mapped territories, 31 were within dense riparian vegetation that included no cliffs or rocks.