Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)


Chestnut-backed Thornbird (Phacellodomus dorsalis)


French: Synallaxe à dos marron German: Graunacken-Bündelnister Spanish: Espinero dorsicastaño

Phacelodomus [sic] dorsalis


, 1895,

Malca, 8000 feet [c. 2440 m], near Cajabamba, Cajamarca, Peru


Phylogenetic study#R found this species to be sister to P. maculipectus. Monotypic.


NW Peru on E slope of W Andes in upper Marañón Valley (S Cajamarca and La Libertad); reports from Ancash require documentation.

Descriptive notes

19–21 cm; 33–39 g. The longest thornbird, also with longest bill. Has vague light grey-brown supercilium continuing anteriorly to supraloral area, where becoming... read more


A series of ticking “chit-chit-chit-chit-chit” notes given for long periods and varying... read more


Arid montane scrub, on brushy slopes with scattered short Prosopis or Acacia... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Observed singly or in pairs, usually 1–4 m from ground; evidently gleans arthropods from branches and, possibly, from... read more


Season not documented. Presumably monogamous. Nest a large cylinder of twigs and branches, placed near tip of branch (perhaps mostly in... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Marañón Valley EBA. Uncommon; reported as fairly common around Hacienda Limón, in Cajamarca. Known from... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Chestnut-backed Thornbird (Phacellodomus dorsalis). 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 7 December 2019).