Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Near Threatened

Grey-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus albigularis)


French: Sclérure à gorge grise German: Graukehl-Laubwender Spanish: Tirahojas gorjigrís

Sclerurus albigularis

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1869,

Cumbre de Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela


Probably sister to S. scansor (which see). Pattern of geographical variation generally conforms to Gloger’s Rule, with plumage darker in warm, humid areas than in colder, drier ones. Within nominate race, birds in Trinidad and Tobago are significantly smaller than those of mainland. Racial identity of birds from SW Brazil (Acre, N Rondônia) and others reported from S Bolivia (Tarija) uncertain; presumed to belong to albicollis. Proposed race kunanensis of Sierra de Perijá (Colombia–Venezuela border) said to have belly more greenish-olive, remiges more olivaceous and rectrices blackish#R#R, but doubtfully distinguishable from nominate. Original description of species in 1868 issue of journal, but not published till Apr 1869#R#R. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. canigularis Ridgway, 1889 – foothills of Costa Rica and W Panama (W Chiriquí).
  • S. a. propinquus Bangs, 1899 – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • S. a. albigularis P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1869 – Sierra de Perijá, also S in E Andes of Colombia (E slope S to E Cauca, also Macarena Mts) and locally in foothills of W & N Venezuela (Andes, Coastal Range E to Sucre on Paria Peninsula); also Trinidad and Tobago.
  • S. a. zamorae Chapman, 1923 – foothills of Andes from E Ecuador (S from W Napo) S to C Peru (Cajamarca S to Pasco).
  • S. a. albicollis Carriker, 1935 – SE Peru (Ucayali), SW Brazil (Acre, Rondônia, Mato Grosso) and Andean foothills in Bolivia (from La Paz and Beni S to NW Santa Cruz, also sight records from Tarija).
  • S. a. kempffi Kratter, 1997 – Serranía de Huanchaca, in E Bolivia (extreme NE Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–18 cm; 34–46 g. Rather large Sclerurus with pale throat contrasting with rufescent breast. Nominate race has greyish-brown face with hints of scaling... read more


    Song a series of 4–6 tripled rising notes, “kwu-kwu-kwe-kwe-kwi-kwi”, sometimes... read more


    Montane and tropical lowland evergreen forest; mainly foothill and lower montane forest, often in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded dietary items are Coleoptera, spiders, cockroaches (Blattodea), and tiny frogs. Singly, occasionally in pairs. Terrestrial; hops... read more


    Breeds in Oct–May, with peak Dec–Feb, in Trinidad; eggs in May–Jun in N Colombia. Presumably monogamous. Nest at end of... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to locally uncommon; fairly common locally in Venezuela. Occurs in numerous protected areas, e.g. Henri Pittier National Park, in Venezuela, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Grey-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus albigularis). 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 7 December 2019).