Buff-breasted Wren Cantorchilus leucotis
(aka Thryothorus leucotis)
Buff-breasted Wren, Mocambinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil, February 2002 - click for larger image Mocambinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil
February 2002

We have had considerable debate about the identification of this bird with some of my colleagues suggesting that it might be Long-billed Wren, C. longirostris.

However, Ridgely & Tudor notes that there are specimens with intermediate bill lengths between the two species while the bill length of the Long-billed Wren can vary considerably.

From a plumage point of view the two species are very similar with the wings and tail barred black, the sides of the head streaked black and white with a narrow white supercilium. Below, the throat is white changing to buff on the breast and rufous on the belly.

Given its range, I opt for the T. l. rufiventris subspecies of Buff-breasted Wren which is found in Minas Gerais while other sub-species, 11 in all, are found from Panama down the east side of the Andes and into south central Brazil. See the distribution map at Birdlife International.

It is found in forest undergrowth and thickets near water and is more often heard than seen.

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