Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Sooty-headed Wren Pheugopedius spadix

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Troglodytidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Juan José Arango

Almost endemic to Colombia, but for a narrow extension of its distribution into easternmost Panama, the Sooty-headed Wren is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the allopatric Black-throated Wren (Pheugopedius atrogularis), which is confined to Central America. The Sooty-headed Wren can scarcely be confused with any other species in range, it having a black head and throat, and unmarked chestnut breast and flanks. The upperparts are entirely rufous, although the tail is barred darker. This is a generally secretive species, usually found in pairs, and typically observed low above the ground. It sometimes follows army ant swarms in search of insects fleeing the ants.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Paul Coopmans

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

Recommended Citation

Sooty-headed Wren (Pheugopedius spadix), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: