Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Grey-headed Spinetail (Cranioleuca semicinerea)


French: Synallaxe à tête grise German: Graukopf-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié cabecigrís

Leptoxyura semicinerea


, 1853,

Bahia, Brazil


Genetic data#R indicate that this species is closest to C. hellmayri and C. subcristata, the three forming a group which is sister to C. demissa. Plumage differences of proposed races pallidiceps (Ceará), described as paler throughout, and goyana (S Goiás), said to have darker crown and auriculars and more conspicuous supercilium, apparently represent individual variation. Monotypic.


E Brazil from Ceará and Alagoas S to S Goiás, extreme N Minas Gerais and Bahia.

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm; 14–16 g. Rather pale and grey Cranioleuca; elongated crown feathers elevated to form short crest in excitement. Has faint whitish supercilium,... read more


Song a high-pitched, thin descending and fading series, “tseet-tseet-tseet-tseet-... read more


Tropical deciduous forest, semi-deciduous forest and woodland; locally at borders of humid... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods. Forages generally in pairs, usually in mixed-species flocks, primarily in subcanopy and canopy. Hitches along small branches;... read more


Nest a large oval mass 13 × 16 cm, of moss and rootlets, with side entrance, wrapped around horizontal branch 5–12 m above ground.... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare to uncommon. Restricted to relatively narrow band of forest intermediate between tropical evergreen forest of the coast and drier caatinga... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Grey-headed Spinetail (Cranioleuca semicinerea). 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 16 December 2019).