Rock Wren

Salpinctes obsoletus Order: Passeriformes Family: Troglodytidae (Wrens)
Salpinctes obsoletus Order: Passeriformes Family: Troglodytidae (Wrens)

This handsome little wren, its color palette matching that of the pale grayish Western landscape it inhabits, is one of the few birds not known to drink water at all. Even in captivity or in wild areas with drinking water readily available, it seems to get all its water from the insects and spiders it feeds on, taking them from even very tiny crevices with its long, delicate bill.

Rock Wrens have a curious nesting habit. They nest in a rock crevice hidden from sight, but construct a pathway of flat, small stones or pebbles leading directly to the nest, making it rather easy for savvy ornithologists to locate the nest. No one knows why they do this.

In 1984, a pair of Rock Wrens nesting in a box car turned up in Bemidji, Minnesota. In 2004, a pair was confirmed to be nesting in Felton Prairie in western Minnesota.

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