Breeding ecology plays a crucial role in avian fitness and evolution, yet basic life history is understudied for many species. Species with large distributions over a breadth of latitudes may have different strategies regarding reproduction in the northern or southern extents of their range, but those differences could be overlooked due to a sparsity of published information. Rock Wrens (Salpinctes obsoletus) are migratory in the northern part of their range, territorial, and monogamous songbirds with populations thought to be in decline. We collected natural history information on 21 mated pairs from a migratory population in northern Colorado to describe nesting ecology and reproductive success. We evaluated nesting life-history traits and parental care throughout the breeding season at 12 monitored nests. Results indicated that 42.9% of nests fledged at least 1 chick, with means (±SD) of 5.63 ± 1 eggs per clutch, 3.44 ± 0.53 hatchlings per nest, and 2.67 ± 0.5 fledglings per nest. Mean duration of egg incubation was 15.10 ± 0.32 d with 29.11 ± 1.27 total days of eggs and chicks in the nest. Camera trapping revealed male Rock Wrens did the majority of prey delivery to chicks in the first 5 d post-hatching and fed chicks a range of prey species. The population reproductive success was mostly affected by nest predation, where predators included bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer) and prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis). Outcomes provide the first estimates of sex-specific parental feeding behavior for this species, and document new nest predation threats. Breeding biology metrics of the studied migratory population were similar to those of sedentary populations, suggesting that knowledge gained from local studies will have relevance across the range of this widely distributed species. Received 24 July 2021. Accepted 7 March 2022.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.