Rufous-tailed Plantcutter Phytotoma rara
Chilean name: Rara
Male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Torres del Paine, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image Chile
November / December 2005

The Rufous-tailed Plantcutter is distributed in central and southern Chile and adjacent areas of Argentina. It breeds as far south as Torres del Paine but these southern populations migrate northwards during the winter.

Male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Torres del Paine, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image It is the most southerly member of the Cotinga family. In fact the 3 plantcutters are the only cotingids that don't live in forest preferring more open habitats such as scrub and open woodland where they feed on grasses as well as buds, leaves and the fruits of trees and bushes. Nestlings are fed on insects. They are usually seen either singly or in pairs (as seen in photo 5).
Male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Chiloe, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image The male, seen here in photos 1, 2 and 3, has striking chestnut underparts and crown, a red eye and black bill. The rufous tail of its name refers to the rufous base of the undertail.

The female (photo 4) is heavily streaked grey-brown but shares the red eye and black bill.

Female Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Chiloe, Chile, December 2005 - click for larger image
Female & Male Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Laguna de Laja N.P., Chile, November 2005 - click for larger image
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