Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Greater Thornbird (Phacellodomus ruber)


French: Synallaxe rouge German: Rostflügel-Bündelnister Spanish: Espinero grande

Furnarius ruber


, 1817,



Sister to P. striaticollis (see above). Monotypic.


NC & E Bolivia (La Paz, Beni, E Santa Cruz), interior S Brazil (S Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul E to W Bahia and W Pernambuco#R, S to NW São Paulo and NW Paraná, also W Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay and N Argentina (Salta and Formosa S to Tucumán, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Corrientes).

Descriptive notes

19–21 cm; 34·9–51 g. Bulkiest and reddest thornbird. Has face mostly rufescent brown to greyish brown, slightly paler in superciliary and supraloral areas... read more


Song described as a long series of 15–20 “chip” notes that start explosively, then slowly... read more


Riparian thickets, gallery woodland and scrub, almost always near water; occasionally ventures into... read more

Food and feeding

Recorded food items include ants and Coleoptera. Usually seen in pairs, mostly in understorey; also, regularly terrestrial. Evidently... read more


Season during austral spring-summer; eggs in Oct–Jan. Nest a cone-shaped mass c. 35–60 cm tall, 30–50 cm in diameter at... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common throughout range. Occurs in a number of protected areas, including Pantanal National Park, in Brazil, and Esteros del Iberá and... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Greater Thornbird (Phacellodomus ruber). 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).