Azara’s Spinetail (Synallaxis azarae)

Order: Passeriformes | Family: Furnariidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Lower Manu Road, Cuzco

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Oxapampa, Pasco

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Cuzco, Peru | Napo Ecuador

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Quillabamba, Cuzco

Identification & Behavior: ~16.5 cm (6.4 in). The Azara’s Spinetail has a brownish mantle and rufous crown. The folded wing is rufous. The tail is rufous. The throat is pale with a variable amount of black. The forehead and underparts are gray with a pale center of the belly. The juvenile has a dull similar plumage without a rufous crown. It forages in the shrubbery of forest edges, second growth, and dense understory of humid montane forests. It is similar to the Apurimac  Spinetail but is distinguished by having a shorter and rufous tail and lighter gray plumage. These two spinetails replace each other geographically.

Status: The Azara’s Spinetail is common in montane forests of the east and west (Tumbes, Piura, and Cajamarca) slopes of the Andes at elevations ranging between 1250-3100 m. It also occurs in Co, Ec, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Cola-Espina de Azara.

Sub-species: Azara’s Spinetail (Synallaxis azarae media), Chapman, 1914.  W & C Andes of Colombia S to Ecuador (S to Cotopaxi in W and to Zamora-Chinchipe in E), possibly also in N Peru (extreme NE Cajamarca).
(Synallaxis azarae ochracea), J. T. Zimmer, 1936.  Andes of SW Ecuador (S from Guayas and S Chimborazo) and NW Peru (Tumbes S to Lambayeque).
(Synallaxis azarae fruticicola), Taczanowski, 1880.  Marañón Valley in N Peru (Cajamarca S to La Libertad).
(Synallaxis azarae infumata), J. T. Zimmer, 1925.  Andes of N & C Peru (Amazonas S to Junín).
(Synallaxis azarae urubambae), J. T. Zimmer, 1935.  S Peru (Cuzco).
(Synallaxis azarae azarae), d’Orbigny, 1835.  S Peru (Puno) S to C Bolivia (La Paz S to NW Santa Cruz).

Meaning of Name: Synallaxis: Gr. sunallaxeos, sunallaxis = exchange. azarae: In honor of Brig. Gen. Félix Manuel de Azara (1746-1821) Spanish Army, engineer, cartographer, boundary commissioner commanding the Paraguay-Brazil frontier 1781-1801, naturalist.

See more of the Family Furnariidae  peru aves

Distribution Mapazara's spinetail



    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 03/01/2017.