Rufous-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis erythrothorax

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Furnariidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Eric R. Gulson

The Rufous-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis erythrothorax) is endemic to Middle America. The greater part of its distribution extends along the Caribbean slope from southeastern Mexico to northwestern Honduras, but it also occurs on the Pacific coast from southwestern Mexico to El Salvador. This spinetail is a skulking bird found low in dense second growth and overgrown edge habitats, and is much more often heard than seen. Adults have a black bill and red eyes, surrounded by a grayish brown head and mantle. The rump and tail are a somewhat paler brown, and the wings are bright rufous. Its white throat has black streaks that form a color between the throat and bright rufous breast and flanks. The gray belly gives way to brown undertail coverts. Juveniles have a dusky breast and less defined or absent black collar, and have brown eyes and a dull yellow bill with a black culmen. The Pacific population (S. e. pacifica) is generally paler, sometimes lacking a strong collar or throat markings.  The Rufous-breasted Spinetail constructs a globular nest of sticks with a tunnel entrance, suspended low in dense bushes.


© Josue de León Lux (Birding Guide) +502 3068 8988

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

Recommended Citation

Gulson, E. R. (2012). Rufous-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis erythrothorax), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.