Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Ash-colored Tapaculo (Myornis senilis)


French: Mérulaxe cendré German: Aschgrautapaculo Spanish: Tapaculo cenizo

Merulaxis senilis


, 1840,

Bogotá, Colombia


Some variation in biometrics and plumage darkness noted in Colombia, where birds of C Andes are biometrically similar to those of Ecuador but birds of W & E Andes show some differences#R; further investigation required. Monotypic.


E & C Andes of Colombia (probably also adjacent Venezuela#R), S to Ecuador (in W, S to El Oro and N Loja) and Peru (extreme N, also C Andes S to Huánuco and N Pasco).

Descriptive notes

14 cm; male 20–23·5 g, female 18·1–24·5 g. Dark tapaculo with long tail and elevated base of bill. Adult is medium grey above, somewhat paler on underparts, some... read more


Male song, given only seasonally, begins with repetition up to 1 minute long of a piercing “tick”... read more


Confined to dense thickets of Chusquea bamboo or Neurolepis cane in humid montane... read more

Food and feeding

Details of diet not documented. Hops and creeps through dense tangles of bamboo or cane, usually from near ground to 4 m up; only rarely on... read more


Fledglings collected in Jun in SE Ecuador and in Aug in N Peru (E La Libertad); brief period of song activity suggests that it is single-... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common or uncommon; fairly common but local in Peru. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g. Podocarpus National Park and Pasochoa... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Ash-colored Tapaculo (Myornis senilis). 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 21 February 2020).