Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Brown-breasted Gerygone (Gerygone ruficollis)


French: Gérygone à cou brun German: Baumfarngerygone Spanish: Gerigón pechipardo

Gerygone? ruficollis


, 1876,

Hatam, Arfak Mountains, Vogelkop, New Guinea


Sister to pairing of G. modesta and G. igata, based on DNA data#R. Individual variation considerable, and species might be better treated as monotypic#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. r. ruficollis Salvadori, 1876 – NW New Guinea (Arfak Mts); perhaps this race in Fakfak Mts#R.
  • G. r. insperata De Vis, 1892 – C mountain ranges of New Guinea E to Owen Stanley Range, also Foja Mts and Huon Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm. Has crown, side of head and upperparts brown, narrow whitish eyering; upperwing blackish, pale edgings on secondaries; tail blackish, conspicuous white... read more


    Song very evocative and distinctive, a delightful high-pitched, mournful, slow, unevenly descending... read more


    Primary forest, forest edges, gardens, secondary growth, casuarinas (Casuarina) in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous, but no details available. Forages singly, in pairs or in small family groups. Feeds actively, mostly at middle levels, but... read more


    Poorly known. Recorded in both wet and dry seasons; nest seen in Oct, nest- building in Dec, food-carrying adults in Jan, and juveniles... read more


    Resident, but may make local movements in response to drought; became very scarce around Ambua in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Quite common in mid-montane region, occurring over huge area of remote and inaccessible habitat in New Guinea. Distinctive song often the first... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gregory, P. (2019). Brown-breasted Gerygone (Gerygone ruficollis). 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 16 February 2019).