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Orange-fronted Plushcrown - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Rio Ucayali, Rio Yamallpa, Peru, 10 June 2018

Alternative name: Orange-fronted Softtail

Metopothrix aurantiaca

Metopothrix aurantiacus


11½ cm (4½ in). A tiny, untypical furnariid.

  • Bright yellow-orange forehead
  • Olive-greenish upperparts, dark fuscous primary coverts
  • Dull greenish-olive tail, graduated and with basally slightly stiffened rectrices
  • Yellow throat merging into dull yellowish-green breast, flanks and undertail-coverts, paler on belly
  • Bright yellow-orange to yellow tarsus and toes

Sexes similar, juveniles with less orange and yellow on face.


Found from tropical southeast Colombia to Ecuador, Peru, northern Bolivia and western Amazon Brazil. Recently expanded eastward into the Central Amazon.
Generally uncommon in its range.


Sometimes spelled Metopothrix aurantiacus. This is a monotypic species[1].


Occurs in river-edge forest, on river islands, in tall second growth and at edges of clearings in terra firme and várzea forest, usually close to rivers.
Ranges from 150 to 650 m.



Feeds mainly on arthropods, also observed feeding on fruit and at flowers. Usually seen in pairs or in family groups, often in mixed-species flocks. Forages from mid-storey to the canopy, gleaning arthropods from leaves and twigs. Often hangs acrobatically from leaves.


Nest-building recorded in January in Ecuador. The nest is a mass of sticks with a side entrance, placed 4 to 20 m above the ground.


Song is a series of 3-5 high, thin, evenly spaced slightly descending notes.


This a resident species but range has expanded eastward recently.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Orange-fronted Plushcrown (Metopothrix aurantiaca). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/56521 on 12 July 2019).
  3. Bruna R. Amaral, Thiago Orsi Laranjeiras, Mario Cohn-Haft, Gabriel Augusto Leite, Robson Czaban, and Cameron L. Rutt (2019) Major range extension for Orange-fronted Plushcrown Metopothrix aurantiaca in the central Amazon of Brazil, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 139(2), 99-104. https://doi.org/10.25226/bboc.v139i2.2019.a2
  4. Orange-fronted Plushcrown (Metopothrix aurantiaca), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/orfplu2
  5. Schulenberg, T. S. & Stotz, D. F. & Lane, D. F. & O'Neill, J. P. & Parker III, T. A. & Egg, A. B. (2010). Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691130231

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