Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Creamy-crested Spinetail (Cranioleuca albicapilla)


French: Synallaxe à calotte blanche German: Fahlkappen-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié crestado

Synallaxis albicapilla


, 1873,

Maraynioc, Junín, Peru


Genetic data#R indicate that this species is closest to C. obsoleta and C. pallida, as well as C. pyrrhophia. Races apparently intergrade in Ayacucho and Apurímac. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. albicapilla (Cabanis, 1873) – Andes of C Peru (Junín and Huancavelica S to Ayacucho and Apurímac).
  • C. a. albigula J. T. Zimmer, 1924 – Andes of S Peru (Cuzco S to Ayacucho and Apurímac).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 18–24 g. Large Cranioleuca with striking head pattern; crown feathers partially erectile. Nominate race has creamy white crown, whitish... read more


    Song a loud, descending, accelerating series of notes that lasts c. 1–2 seconds, “tch, tch,... read more


    Semi-arid to semi-humid woodland, e.g. Podocarpus or Eugenia-Escallonia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Forages usually in pairs, and sometimes, possibly often, in mixed-species flocks, mainly in mid-storey. Hitches along small... read more


    Fledgling in May. Presumed nest (described from inactive nests) a ball c. 30 cm in diameter, of moss, twigs and bark strips, with hole near... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Peruvian High Andes EBA. Fairly common to common. Persists in areas where woodland quite fragmented or disturbed... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Creamy-crested Spinetail (Cranioleuca albicapilla). 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 8 December 2019).