occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Breeding
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: BREEDS: south-central British Columbia east to southern Saskatchewan, east to northwestern North Dakota, southern South Dakota, central Nebraska, western Oklahoma, and central Texas, and south to southern Baja California and through Central America to Costa Rica. A pair bred near Churchill, Manitoba, in 1988. WINTERS: northern California east to southern Utah, south to Arizona, New Mexico, southern Texas and south through breeding range, occasionally in northwestern and central U.S. (Terres 1980)
Length: 15 cm
Weight: 17 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: In arid or semi-arid habitat. In shrubby areas in rocky canyons and cliffs, rock slides, boulder-strewn slopes, arroyos with sparse vegetation. Seen around concrete and stone buildings. Nests in gopher burrows, rock crevices, cavities under rocks, adobe buildings, etc. Nest sites may be reused in subsequent years. Nest is made of grasses, rootlets, and plant stems, lined with fur, hair and feathers, and built on a foundation of small flat stones (e.g., see Merola 1995).
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Breeding populations in northern interior U.S. and southern Canada are migratory.
Comments: Primary diet probably insects and spiders.
Life History and Behavior
In New Mexico, nest building was observed as early as early March (Merola 1995). Clutch size is 4-10 in north (usually 5-6); 4 in Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Incubation, by female, lasts about 12-14 days (Merola 1995). Fledging occurs in 14-16 days (Merola 1995). Young are tended by both parents. In New Mexico, some pairs produced three broods in one season (Merola 1995). Male may tend brood while female starts new clutch (Merola 1995).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Salpinctes obsoletus
There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Salpinctes obsoletus
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5B - Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
The 12 cm long adults have grey-brown upperparts with small black and white spots and pale grey underparts with a light brown rump. They have a light grey line over the eye, a long slightly decurved thin bill, a long barred tail and dark legs.
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.
This bird's song is a trill, becoming more varied during the nesting season.
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4