Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Near Threatened

Bay-capped Wren-spinetail (Spartonoica maluroides)


French: Synallaxe des marais German: Strichelrücken-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Canastero enano

Synallaxis maluroides

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Buenos Aires, Argentina


Formerly placed in Synallaxis by some authors, or thought to be more closely related to Asthenes or Leptasthenura by others. Monotypic.


NC Argentina (E Formosa, E Chaco and Corrientes S to Córdoba, Mendoza, La Pampa, NE Río Negro and Buenos Aires), extreme SE Brazil (S Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

12–13 cm; 10–12 g. Typical spinetail in size and shape, but distinctive plumage. Has whitish supercilium, faint dark eyeline and pale brownish face; rufous crown... read more


Dry mechanical trill 2–3 seconds long, somewhat insect-like; prolonged, thin, weak “tch... read more


Freshwater and brackish marshes with extensive emergent vegetation; also in tall wet grass (... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods; reported items are Coleoptera, Neuroptera and Hymenoptera. Usually forages singly. Gleans food items from marsh vegetation.


Socially monogamous, both males and females develop a brood patch and contribute to incubation, brooding, and provisioning of nestlings.... read more


Resident; seasonal changes in abundance suggest local movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Uncommon to fairly common; probably overlooked. Subject to the usual pressures faced by all wetland-dependent... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Bay-capped Wren-spinetail (Spartonoica maluroides). 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 23 January 2020).