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

    17–21 cm; 30–45 g (nominate), 33–42 g (jelskii). Medium-sized, rather plain earthcreeper with long, strongly decurved bill. Has pale buffish-white... read more


    Not especially vocal. Song (nominate) a long dry trill of c. 10 or more “tyik” notes at... read more


    Puna grassland and arid montane scrub, mostly at 2700–4000 m, locally down to 2500 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; lepidopteran larvae, larvae and adults of Coleoptera, Diptera and springtails (Collembola) recorded. Usually solitary, or in... read more


    Breeds during austral summer; in Jan–Feb in C Peru; nestlings in Feb in S Peru, eggs in Nov in Chile, and eggs from Nov and nestlings... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare to locally fairly common. Habitat occupied is reasonably safe from anthropogenic disturbances, except overgrazing by livestock. read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (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 17 November 2019).