Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe Attagis gayi

  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Thinocoridae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

Of the four species of seedsnipe this is by far the largest and it also the one that is found farthest north, reaching Ecuador. The two seedsnipe in the genus Attagis are bulky and short-legged, slow moving and restricted to high elevation alpine habitats. Although not closely related to them, they are South America’s ecological replacement for the northern hemisphere ptarmigan (Lagopus sp.). The Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe ranges from Ecuador south to Magallanes, Chile and is replaced farther south by the smaller White-bellied Seedsnipe (Attagis malouinus). Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe take a variety of alpine habitats and may even be found in high rocky and dry areas, although for foraging highland bogs or moist areas are preferred, it appears that nesting may take place in the rocky habitats, but feeding is typically performed in adjacent moist habitats. They deal well with extremes in cold weather and snow, and in many places are year-round residents particularly farther north in their distribution. Presumably some populations farther south perform elevational migrations, although this remains to be confirmed.

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© Scott Olmstead

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

Recommended Citation

Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe (Attagis gayi), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: