Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

McConnell's Spinetail (Synallaxis macconnelli)


French: Synallaxe de McConnell German: Olivrücken-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Pijuí de McConnell

Synallaxis macconnelli

C. Chubb

, 1919,

Mount Roraima, Bolívar, Venezuela


Belongs to “S. moesta group” (which see), the three members of which have often been treated as conspecific; juvenile plumage of present species, however, differs from that of the other two. Race yavii, based on single specimen from locality near range of nominate, often regarded as of dubious validity (e.g. possibly a subadult plumage of nominate), but description indicates that it is distinctive; herein retained as valid, pending further study. Proposed race griseipectus (Mt Ptari-tepui, in Venezuela) not diagnosable#R. Scientific name of species was based on misspelling, as species was named after F. V. McConnell, but original version must stand. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. yavii Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1947 – Cerro Yaví, in S Venezuela (N Amazonas).
  • S. m. macconnelli C. Chubb, 1919 – SE Venezuela (tepui region of Bolívar, and Cerro de la Neblina in S Amazonas) and N Brazil (Cerro de la Neblina, Serra Parima).
  • S. m. obscurior Todd, 1948 – Suriname, French Guiana and extreme NE Brazil (Amapá).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 18–20 g. Rather large, dark and comparatively short-tailed spinetail. Nominate race has thin pale postocular line, greyish face; crown and nape dark... read more


    Song a weak, hoarse, low-pitched “kir-r-r-r-r-r-r, kik”, final note much softer,... read more


    Tropical lowland evergreen forest edge, montane evergreen forest edge, secondary forest; dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Usually seen in pairs. Probably gleans arthropods from foliage and small branches within 1–2 m of ground.


    Nest a ball of sticks with lateral entrance tube, placed 3–4 m up in shrub. No further information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common, but local in distribution. Estimated density at two forest sites in French Guiana was 2–5/km2. Evidently a true forest species... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). McConnell's Spinetail (Synallaxis macconnelli). 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).