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Rufous-naped Wren - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Stanley Jones
San José Province, Costa Rica, February, 2015
Campylorhynchus rufinucha

Includes: Sclater's Wren; Rufous-backed Wren



  • Black crown and eyestripe
  • White supercilium
  • Rufous nape
  • Cinnamon-brown upperparts with black and white streaks
  • White underparts
  • Wings and tail are barred with black and greyish-white

Young birds have duller upperparts and buff underparts

Sexes similar.

Subspecies capistratus
Photo by Stanley Jones
Santo Domingo, Heredia Province, Costa Rica, February 2014


North and Central America: found in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.


This species has in the past been treated as three species and a new paper is proposing to use that treatment again. These are here treated as groups:

  • C.r. rufinucha is an isolated population on the plains of east-central Veracruz and adjacent Oaxaca Mexico. This is medium in size. The resulting species would be monotypic.
  • C.r. humilis is a small form found along the Pacific coast of Mexico south to about Laguna La Joya in the western Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The resulting species would be monotypic. (Sclater's Wren)
  • C.r. capistratus is a large form found along the Pacific coast from Laguna La Joya to northern Costa Rica. This form would include existing subspecies C.r. nigricaudatus, xerophilum, nicaraguae, and castaneus. (Rufous-backed Wren)

Near Laguna la Joya is a population of medium size that probably originated as a hybrid population when the large and the small forms came into secondary contact. The paper referred to above argue that this is a narrow, stable zone of contact.


Forest or open woodland, scrub, second growth and savanna. Urban areas, manicured grounds, mix of native and horticultural plants; observed at heights around 1,158 m.



The female incubates the 3-5 brown (or black-spotted white eggs) in a rounded nest with a side entrance. The eggs hatch after 2 weeks, with the young fledging two weeks later.


The diet includes insects, spiders and other invertebrates, possibly also some vegetation at times.


  1. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2014)
  2. Abstract of a new paper evaluating the taxonomy of Rufous-naped Wren.
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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