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Puna tapaculo

Scytalopus simonsi

Photo by Jean-Philippe Paris (Worldwide Ornithological Travels)

Common name:
Puna tapaculo (en); tapaculo-de-Simons (pt); mérulaxe de Simons (fr); churrín de la Puna (es); Punatapaculo (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Rhinocryptidae

This South American species is found in the eastern slopes of the Andes, from the Vilcanota mountains, Cuzco, Peru, south to Cochabamba, Bolivia.

These birds are 10-12 cm long and weigh 15-18 g.

Puna tapaculos are found in elfin forests near the treeline, and in stunted trees and scrubs in tussock grass above the treeline. Also in Polylepis woodlands. They occur at altitudes of 2.900-4.300 m.

They mainly eat insects, but also grass seeds.

They nest in a cup made of dry grasses, placed at the end of a burrow near the top of a steep bank. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which are incubated for about 16 days. The chicks fledge 15-20 days after hatching.

IUCN status –  LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small breeding range, but is described as fairly common. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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