Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Ancash Tapaculo (Scytalopus affinis)


French: Mérulaxe affin German: Ancashtapaculo Spanish: Churrín de Ancash

Scytalopus magellanicus affinis

J. T. Zimmer

, 1939,

Yánac, Ancash, Peru


Formerly treated as a race of S. magellanicus. May be closely related to S. canus and S. opacus#R. Monotypic.


W Andes of Peru in Ancash (Cordillera Blanca), possibly N to Cajamarca but confirmation needed#R.

Descriptive notes

10 cm; male 13–15 g, one female 12·3 g. A small, very pale tapaculo with dark-barred brown flanks. Male is grey above, lower back, wings, rump and tail dark brown,... read more


Song a descending “churr” at 3·3–4 kHz (first overtone; fundamental barely audible) repeated... read more


Large tussocks of grass and mossy rocks and boulders, often near or in Polylepis and ... read more

Food and feeding

Three stomachs held remains of small insects. Moves like a mouse among rocks or grass tussocks; also forages along mossy limbs of ... read more


Lays in Jan–Feb; juvenile collected in Feb. Two nests known, both globular with side entrance, constructed mainly of grass and moss,... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon; locally fairly common, e.g. in Huascarán National Park.

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Ancash Tapaculo (Scytalopus affinis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).