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Azara's Spinetail - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Gerald Friesen
East Andes slope, San Isidro road, Ecuador, April 2018
Synallaxis azarae


Photo © by Robert_Scanlon
Nr Cali, Colombia, March 2006

15–17 cm (6-6¾ in)

  • Rufous cap and wings
  • Grey forehead and throat
  • Pale supercilium
  • Brownish-grey face
  • Buffy underparts
  • Small dark scaly patch on throat.

This is the most numerous and common Spinetail in its range.


South America: found in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina



Nine subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. a. elegantior:
  • S. a. media:
  • S. a. ochracea:
  • Subtropical south-western Ecuador and north-western Peru
  • S. a. fruticicola:
  • Northern Peru (La Libertad, Cajamarca, San Martín and Amazonas)
  • S. a. infumata:
  • Northerln-central Peru (San Martín, Huánuco and Junín)
  • S. a. urubambae:
  • South-eastern Peru (Cuzco)
  • S. a. azarae:
  • Andes from southern Peru (Puno) to central Bolivia (south to northwestern Santa Cruz)
  • S. a. samaipatae:
  • Andes of southern Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija)
  • S. a. superciliosa:
  • Andes of north-western Argentina (Jujuy and Tucumán)


Montane evergreen forest edges, secondary forests and dense undergrowth, mostly from 1500m to 3000m.


Furtive and difficult to locate visually in the dense shrub it prefers, although its voice is often heard. Travels alone or in pairs, staying close to ground.


Their diet consists mostly of arthropods, with the addition of moth larvae and small seeds. They are usually seen in pairs, though sometimes they feed in mixed species flocks.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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