Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Crag Earthcreeper (Ochetorhynchus melanurus)


French: Chilia des rochers German: Rotbürzel-Erdhacker Spanish: Chiricoca
Other common names: Crag Chilia

Enicornis melanura

G. R. Gray

, 1846,

no locality = Chile


Previously placed in monospecific Chilia. Analysis#R indicates present species is sister to pairing of O. ruficaudus and O. phoenicurus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. m. atacamae (Hellmayr, 1925) – NC Chile (Huasco, in S Atacama, to Coquimbo).
  • O. m. melanurus (G. R. Gray, 1846) – C Chile (Aconcagua, in Valparaíso, S to Colchagua, in O’Higgins).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; 31–40 g. Very straight bill. Nominate race has narrow whitish supercilium, dark brown lores and auriculars fringed whitish along lower edge; mostly... read more


    Song a short (1 second) staccato chatter of jumbled notes with 4–7 loud "teet"... read more


    Arid montane scrub; on steep, rocky slopes and cliffs with little or scattered clumps of vegetation... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, some seeds. Usually solitary. Probes and gleans rocks and crevices for food items.


    Season presumed to be during austral spring-summer; eggs in Sept–Oct. Presumably monogamous. Nest a bulky globular mass of dry sticks... read more


    Mainly resident; downslope movements in winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Central Chile EBA. Uncommon to fairly common. Occurs in Cerro La Campana National Park. Habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Crag Earthcreeper (Ochetorhynchus melanurus). 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 February 2020).