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Pale-breasted Spinetail - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Chiriqui Province, Panama, May, 2012
Synallaxis albescens


Photo © by bievreJJ
Vale das Garças, Campinas, SP, Brazil, 4 August 2018

13–16 cm (5-6¼ in)
Medium long tail.

  • Rufous crown and shoulder patches
  • Brownish-grey face
  • Pale brown upperparts
  • Darker wings and tail
  • Whitish throat and underparts
  • Browner flanks

Sexes similar.


Central and South America: found fromCosta Rica to central Argentina, and in Trinidad.



Thirteen subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. a. latitabunda: South West Costa Rica
  • S. a. hypoleuca: Pacific coast of southern Panama and north-western Colombia
  • S. a. insignis: Andes of Colombia
  • S. a. occipitalis: East Colombia and north-western Venezuela
  • S. a. littoralis: Caribbean littoral of northern Colombia
  • S. a. perpallida: North East Colombia (Guajira Peninsula) and north-western Venezuela
  • S. a. nesiotis: Santa Marta Mountains (north-eastern Colombia) to northern Venezuela; Isla Margarita
  • S. a. trinitatis: East Venezuela and Trinidad
  • S. a. josephinae: South Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and adjacent northern Brazil
  • S. a. inaequalis: French Guiana
  • S. a. griseonota: Central Brazil (lower Rio Tapajós region)
  • S. a. albescens: Central and eastern Brazil to eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina
  • S. a. australis: East Bolivia to western Paraguay and north-western Argentina


Agricultural pastureland and second growth scrub.



They construct a spherical stick nest with a side entrance. It is placed low in a bush, into which its two greenish white eggs are laid.


Their insectivorous diet consists of items such as grasshoppers and stick insects.


Song: a buzzy repetitive wait here.


  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). Pale-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis albescens). 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/56433 on 6 August 2019).
  3. Schulenberg, T. S. and G. H. Rosenberg (2016). White-bellied Spinetail (Mazaria propinqua), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whbspi1.01

Recommended Citation

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