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Russet-bellied Spinetail - BirdForum Opus

Synallaxis zimmeri


13 cm. An atypical Synallaxis Spinetail.

  • Blackish loreal area, slightly paler auriculars, broken whitish eyering and vague grey-brown supercilium
  • Grey crown blending to dull dark brownish back
  • Contrasting bright rufous uppertail-coverts
  • Dark rufous wing-coverts, dull brownish remiges
  • Graduated tail with 10 rectrices, dark fuscous central pair, rest rufous
  • Whitish chin, blending to grey-brown throat and upper breast, faintly streaked
  • Rufous rest of underparts, sligthly paler in centre of belly, darker on undertail-coverts

Sexes similar. Juveniles similar but with shorter and paler bill.


Found in a small area in the western Andes of central Peru (Ancash).
Uncommon to locally common in its range. Probably declining due to habitat destruction.


This is a monotypic species.
Some authors suggest it should be placed in a separate genus, song and nest however are very similar to those of many congeners.


High-altitude shrubland, usually thorny, often at edge of dry forest.
Occurs at 2100-2800 m, mostly above 2500 m.



Feeds on winged insects and spider, takes also seeds and plant material.
Forages in pairs, rarely in mixed-species flocks, from understorey to ground.


A monogamous species. Nestlings recorded in May. The nest is a globular mass, made of thorny twigs and lined with leaf rachides. It's placed 3.5 to 4.2 m above the ground in a tall shrub or a small tree in dense forest. Lays 2 eggs.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334504

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