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Yellow-breasted Brushfinch - BirdForum Opus

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Alternative names: Northern Rufous-naped Brush-Finch; Rufous-naped Brush-Finch1

Photo © by Jose Ramon
Yanacocha Reserve, Pichincha Province, Ecuador, November 2014
Atlapetes latinuchus

Includes Black-fronted Brush Finch


17 cm
In the fully colored adult: slaty upperside except for rufous nape and crown, black side of head, rich yellow underside. Juvenile starts out much duller and completely lacking contrasting nape.

Variation: considerable, if subtle, including possibility of white on wing, lore, or above the lore.

Behavioral action seen during feeding
Photo © by njlarsen
Tapichalaca, Zamora-Chinchipe, SE Ecuador, 13 June 2019


Found in the Andes from far western Venezuela, through Colombia and Ecuador, to north-central Peru.


Previously considered conspecific with the Rufous-naped Brush-Finch (A. rufinucha, sometimes "Bolivian Brush-Finch") under the name Rufous-naped Brush-Finch (Atlapetes rufinucha). Confusingly, following the split, both A. rufinucha and A. latinuchus are sometimes still referred to as "Rufous-naped Brush-Finch".


Ten subspecies are recognized[2]:

  • A.l. phelpsi: Mountains of north-eastern Colombia and western Venezuela (Perijá Mountains)
  • A.l. elaeoprorus: Subtropical north-Central Andes of Colombia (Antioquia)
  • A.l. simplex: Eastern Andes of Colombia (Bogotá)
  • A.l. caucae: Western and Central Andes of Colombia (Valle and Cauca)
  • A.l. spodionotus: Andes of southern Colombia (Nariño) and northern Ecuador
  • A.l. comptus: Andes of south-western Ecuador (Cañar to western Loja) and northern Peru (Piura)
  • A.l. latinuchus: Andes of south-eastern Ecuador (eastern Azuay and eastern Loja) to north-eastern Peru (Amazonas)
  • A.l. chugurensis: Pacific slope of north-western Peru (Cajamarca)
  • A.l. baroni: Northern Peru (upper Marañón Valley in Cajamarca and La Libertad)
  • A.l. yariguierum: Yariguies Mountains, Colombia


Mid elevation of the Andes in forested habitats including edges and second growth.



Mostly feed in understory but can also be seen on the ground. There is no information about their diet.


  1. Not to be confused with Rufous-naped Brush-Finch, Atlapetes rufinucha.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved February 2015)

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