Tufted Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura platensis


The well-named Tufted Tit-Spinetail shows a nice crest, more so than its close relatives. It is found in pairs, or later on in the season in family groups. It is a species of open woodland, espinal forest, and even chaco vegetation. The large proportion of its distribution is within Argentina. It is clearly related to the Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides), but differs vocally and morphologically from that species. The nest of the Tufted Tit-Spinetail is a large messy cup that in natural situations is placed in a tree cavity. However, this species has become adept at using old nests of other furnariids as prime nesting localities. Old nests of Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) are particularly favored. Seeing these small birds sitting on top of and defending large stick nests, or mud ovens, certainly is confusing to see in the field until one understands that the spinetail is merely recycling the nest of another species. The Tufted Tit-Spinetail’s nest itself makes heavy use of feathers from larger birds for the entrance as well as the lining; usually four white eggs are laid.

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© Natxo Areta

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Tufted Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura platensis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: