Spotted barbtail

Spotted barbtail
Premnoplex brunnescens
Photo by Gary Clark (Bird Forum)

Common name:
spotted barbtail (en); joão-malhado (pt); anabasitte tachetée (fr); subepalo moteado (es); westlicher fleckenstachelschwanz (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This species is found from Costa Rica and Panama, through northern Venezuela and Colombia and into Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

The spotted barbtail is 13-14 cm long and weighs 16-18 g.

These birds are found in dense understory, in moist mountain forests, typically occurring along rivers and streams. They are found at altitudes of 600-2.600 m.

They eat various arthropods including beetle, ants, roaches and spiders.

Spotted barbtails can breed all year round, with a peak in March-August. Both sexes help build the nest, a large globular structure made of living mosses and liverworts, clay and rootlets, placed in tree trunks, soil banks or rock faces, often over water. The female lays 2-3 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 27-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 19-22 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, but its dependence on mountain streams may make it vulnerable to human alterations to these delicate ecossystems.

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