Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)


Magdalena Tapaculo (Scytalopus rodriguezi)


French: Mérulaxe de Rodriguez German: Magdalenatapaculo Spanish: Churrín del Alto Magdalena

Scytalopus rodriguezi

Krabbe et al.

, 2005,

Finca Merenberg Natural Reserve, 2200 m, San Agustín, Huila, Colombia


Genetically and vocally distinct, and a relatively old species, though only fairly recently described#R; most closely associated with S. robbinsi of SW Ecuador and S. stilesi of N part of C Andes of Colombia. Newly described form yariguiorum fairly distinctive vocally and in biometrics, though less so in plumage; considered an incipient species#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. r. yariguiorum Donegan et al., 2013 – Yariguies Tapaculo – Serranía de los Yariguíes, in Norte de Santander, C Colombia.
  • S. r. rodriguezi Krabbe et al., 2005 – Upper Magdalena Tapaculo – E slope of C Andes (Serranía de las Minas, Finca Merenberg) in Huila, SW Colombia.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 11·5 cm; 21·4–22·7 g. Typical tapaculo. Plumage is dark neutral grey, except for rump and flanks, which are cinnamon with fairly straight... read more


    Song among the simplest of any tapaculo: a single note repeated at rate of 4–5 per second,... read more


    Tall humid forest at 2000–2300 m. Replaced at higher elevations by S. spillmanni and lower... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on small insects, principally beetles (Coleoptera). Forages in densest forest understorey.


    No information. Breeding does not occur in Jan and Feb, at least.


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Colombian Inter-Andean slopes EBA. Recently described and still little-known. Found only in the upper Magdalena valley on the... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fjeldså, J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Magdalena Tapaculo (Scytalopus rodriguezi). 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 22 February 2020).