Common Miner Geositta cunicularia

Brazilian name: curriqueiro
Chilean name: minero

Common Miner, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image The Common Miner is distributed from the Peruvian Andes to Tierra del Fuego and across to southern Brazil. It is found in a variety of flattish, open habitats particularly grassland, sandy areas and scrub as well as along dirt roads as was the case for photos 1 to 3.

It feeds on the ground mainly on insects and seeds.

Common Miner, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image It has a slender and slightly decurved bill and a pale supercilium. The pale rufous flight feathers are obvious in flight but can be seen at rest as in photo 3. It is buffy white below with brownish streaks on the breast.
Common Miner, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image

There is considerable variation in plumage between the 9 sub-species and some variation in vocalization to the extent that the nominate sub-species seen here in photos 1 to 3 may be a separate species.

There is a recording of the call of the sub-species G. c. titicacae on the xeno-canto website.

Common Miner, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image Photos 4 to 7 are of the sub-species G. c. titicacae which is found in the Andes of south Peru, western Bolivia, northern Chile and north-western Argentina. It is found on flat, sandy, dry areas of the altiplano at between 3,500m and 4,500m. This bird was photographed at Laguna Miscanti at about 4,150m.
Common Miner, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image This sub-species is paler with only faint streaking on the breast and can be seperated from the sympatric Puna Miner G. punensis by its buffier underparts, the streaking on the breast, its larger size and its brighter face pattern.
Common Miner, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image
Common Miner, Laguna Miñiques, Chile, January 2007 - click for larger image
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