Great spinetail

Great spinetail
Siptornopsis hypochondriacus

Photo by Christian Nunes (Flickr)

Common name:
great spinetail (en); joão-grande (pt); synallaxe à poitrine rayée (fr); curutié grande (es); weißbrust-dickichtschlüpfer (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This species is endemic to an area of north-western Peru, on the slopes above the dry upper Marañón river valley in south Amazonas, south-east Cajamarca, east La Libertad and north Ancash.

These birds are 17-19 cm long and weigh 23-26 g.

The great spinetail  is found in arid and desert scrublands with cacti, and sometimes mixed with Acacia and Bombax trees, at altitudes of 1.650-3.000 m.

They usually forage in pairs gleaning beetles and other arthropods from dense foliage.

Great spinetails build a large, enclosed stick nest. There is no further information regarding the reproduction of this species.

IUCN status – VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 6.000-15.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with rates of habitat loss within its range. The Marañón river drainage has been under cultivation for a long time and habitat in the valley has progressively deteriorated. The spread of oil-palms, cattle-ranching and logging are all serious threats to remaining habitat, with oil extraction a potential future problem.

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