Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Forest Earthcreeper (Upucerthia saturatior)


French: Upucerthie de forêt German: Dunkelrücken-Erdhacker Spanish: Bandurrita saturada
Other common names: Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper

Upucerthia saturatior

W. E. D. Scott

, 1900,

central Chile


Recently split from U. dumetaria#R on suite of characters, some of which, however, show considerable overlap with other taxa (breast scaling, tail pattern). Split first suggested in 1951#R, and recently supported by molecular analysis#R. Species status achieved here on basis of very dark brown vs (at darkest) dark brown upperparts (1); shorter bill (effect size based on published data −2.46; score 2); distinctive song, a syncopated series of couplets or triplets vs continuous series of single notes (clearly at least 3); also different migration pattern and habitat (forest border vs open grassland and scrub) (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C Chile (S from Concepción to Valdivia) and SW Argentina (W Neuquén S to W Chubut).

Descriptive notes

20–22 cm. Compared to formerly conspecific U. dumetaria, adult is much darker above and below than any race of the latter species, the upperparts having an... read more


Song (can be given from perch up to 7 m above ground) consists of 1–2 sharp, short and lower-... read more


Inhabits forest borders, usually near waterbodies, especially patches of Nothofagus forest... read more

Food and feeding

Diet undescribed, but presumably arthropods and their larvae. Forages alone or in loose pairs. Feeds exclusively on ground near tall trees... read more


Apparently nothing known.


Poorly known, but rather than simply moving further N during the austral winter, as often mapped in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Very few data on abundance, but generally considered to be reasonably numerous within its overall known range of c. 184,000 km²;... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Forest Earthcreeper (Upucerthia saturatior). 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 21 January 2020).