White-whiskered spinetail

White-whiskered spinetail
Synallaxis candei

Photo by Martin Reid (Martin Reid Birds, Bugs and Beyond…)

Common name:
white-whiskered spinetail (en); joão-teneném-de-bigodes (pt); synallaxe à moustaches (fr); pijuí barbiblanco (es); weißbart-dickichtschlüpfer (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This species is found in north-eastern Colombia and north-western Venezuela.

These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 14-16 g.

The white-whiskered spinetail is mostly found in dry, deciduous tropical forests and arid scrublands, often favouring areas dominated by cacti. They also use mangroves and pastures and are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.100 m.

They glean insects and other arthropods from the ground and bark surfaces.

White-whiskered spinetails breed in October-January, during the local wet season. They are believed to be monogamous and remain paired outside the breeding season. The nest is a globular structure made of thorny twigs, sticks and bark, with a lateral entrance that leads into the inner chamber which is lined with green leaves. Nests are usually placed in thorny scrubs, such as Prosopis juliflora, Cercidium praecox and Castela erecta, about 1-2,5 m above the ground. The female lays 3-4 turquoise blue to pale green eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

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

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