Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Least Concern

Andean Solitaire (Myadestes ralloides)


French: Solitaire des Andes German: Andenklarino Spanish: Solitario andino

Muscipeta ralloides


, 1840,

Chulumani, Yungas, east side of the Cordillera, Bolivia


See M. melanops (above). A genetic study#R found that races of present species may comprise more than one species. Recordings reveal that races plumbeiceps, venezuelensis and ralloides divide into three distinct vocal groups (the unknown candelae presumably close to plumbeiceps), with plumbeiceps and venezuelensis both giving short strophes separated by long pauses (but latter with higher average frequency range per note, lower average number of notes per phrase and longer average length of notes), while ralloides produces short phrases separated by short pauses, resulting in an almost continuous song; thus nominate is more different from the other two than they are from each other#R. However, claim that birds south of the Marañón (i.e. ralloides) are mostly chestnut-crowned and those north of it mostly grey-crowned#R could not be confirmed in AMNH (the same material used to make the claim); instead venezuelensis appears to have a yellower lower mandible and a fractionally paler belly, plumbeiceps is biggest-billed and richest chestnut above, and ralloides is dingier, more olive-tinged above. Further work needed to determine if species limits need revision. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. r. plumbeiceps Hellmayr, 1921 – W & C Andes of Colombia and W Ecuador.
  • M. r. candelae Meyer de Schauensee, 1947 – NC Colombia (Magdalena Valley).
  • M. r. venezuelensis P. L. Sclater, 1856 – N & W Venezuela S in E Andes to N Peru (N of R Marañón).
  • M. r. ralloides (d’Orbigny, 1840) – Peru (S of R Marañón) S to W & C Bolivia (S to Chuquisaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; 25·5–37 g. Nominate race has black lores, dull greyish-olive crown, shading to reddish-brown from mantle to rump and scapulars; dark tips of primary... read more


    Song, from concealed perch in lower canopy of tall tree, given all year (but mainly when breeding... read more


    Lower and middle growth (2–15 m) of humid and wet foothill and subtropical forest, borders... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and fruit. Takes fruit and berries while perched or by sally-gleaning; also gleans foliage, and sallies into air for insects.... read more


    Mar in Colombia, and breeding-condition birds in Mar–Apr and Jul and juveniles all months except Feb and Apr in Andes; probably... read more


    Mostly sedentary so far as is known; in Colombia, individual ringed at 1400 m was retrapped a week... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common throughout Andean range. Common in Chocó, in W Colombia; common in Venezuela. Often common in Ecuador on basis more of vocal... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Andean Solitaire (Myadestes ralloides). 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 25 February 2020).