Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Light-crowned Spinetail (Cranioleuca albiceps)


French: Synallaxe à bandeaux German: Hellscheitel-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié coronado

Synallaxis albiceps

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Sicasica, La Paz, Bolivia


Traditional sister relationship to C. marcapatae (including weskei) is supported by genetic data#R#R. Race discolor intergrades with nominate in Bolivia (Ayopaya, in Cochabamba). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. albiceps (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Andes of extreme S Peru (S Puno) and N Bolivia (La Paz, W Cochabamba).
  • C. a. discolor J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – Andes of C Bolivia (Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 13–17 g. Dark Cranioleuca with striking pale crown. Nominate race has dark grey-brown supercilium bordered above by blackish line, this... read more


    Song a descending series of 6–10 evenly spaced notes; call a long, excited trill.


    Montane evergreen forest, usually with Chusquea bamboo; 2200–3400 m.

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Normally forages in pairs, usually in mixed-species flocks. Forages mainly in mid-storey and at edge; mean foraging height in... read more


    Presumably monogamous. One nest, an oval clump of moss wrapped around and hanging down from end of Chusquea bamboo branch, live... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Bolivian and Peruvian Upper Yungas EBA. Fairly common.

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Light-crowned Spinetail (Cranioleuca albiceps). 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).