Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Buff-breasted Earthcreeper (Upucerthia validirostris)


French: Upucerthie fauve German: Langschnabel-Erdhacker Spanish: Bandurrita ocrácea
Other common names: Plain-breasted Earthcreeper (jelskii, saturata)

Ochetorhynchus validirostris


, 1861,

Sierra de Mendoza, Argentina


Here includes U. jelskii following detailed review#R called for in HBW; review also reduced total number of races to three (large, rufescent, buff-bellied validirostris, including rufescens; small, pale jelskii, including pallida; and small, dark, brownish saturata), although further clarification needed. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • U. v. saturata Carriker, 1933 – W Andes of C Peru (Ancash, Huánuco, NW Pasco).
  • U. v. jelskii (Cabanis, 1874) – Andes of C & S Peru (Lima and Junín to Puno), N Chile (Tarapacá), W Bolivia (La Paz S to Potosí) and NW Argentina (Jujuy).
  • U. v. validirostris (Burmeister, 1861) – NW Argentina (Salta S to La Rioja and Mendoza, W Córdoba).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–21 cm; 30–45 g. Medium-sized, rather plain earthcreeper with long, strongly decurved bill. Has pale buffish-white supercilium, nearly uniform dull brownish-... read more


    Song a long dry trill of 10 or more “tyik” notes at c. 5 per second; call a low “... read more


    Puna grassland mostly at 2700–4000 m, locally down to 2500 m and up to 5000 m;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; Coleoptera, Diptera and springtails (Collembola) recorded. Usually solitary. Probes in and gleans from ground.


    Breeds during austral summer; eggs from Nov and nestlings in Feb–Mar in Argentina. Presumably monogamous. Nest at end of tunnel c. 0·... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to locally fairly common. Habitat occupied is reasonably safe from anthropogenic disturbances, except overgrazing.

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Buff-breasted Earthcreeper (Upucerthia validirostris). 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 18 June 2019).