We identified prey items being delivered by adult Canyon Wrens (Catherpes mexicanus) to nestlings on public lands in northern Colorado using digital photography. Adult wrens delivered single invertebrate prey items from 11 orders in four classes: Insecta, Arachnida, Malacostraca, and Chilopoda. Within Insecta and Chilopoda, we describe invertebrates from four families not previously documented as Canyon Wren prey: Noctuidae, Rhaphidophoridae, Formicidae, and Scutigeridae. Our observations align with previous studies in other locations indicating that insects and spiders are key components of the Canyon Wren diet. Moreover, our data show that additional locally available invertebrates including centipedes, isopods, and winged ants are captured to provision nestlings. Prey identification from digital imagery is a nondestructive sampling technique that can effectively be implemented for songbirds, and may be suited for citizen science monitoring programs on public lands.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2