Family Crescentchests (Melanopareiidae)

Least Concern

Olive-crowned Crescentchest (Melanopareia maximiliani)


French: Cordon-noir à dos olive German: Olivscheitel-Bandvogel Spanish: Pecholuna del Chaco

Synallaxis Maximiliani


, 1835,

summit of Mount Biscachal, near Carcuata, Yungas of La Paz, Bolivia


HBW indicated that race pallida differs vocally from others and may be a separate species; closer study reveals that population assigned to pallida from the salinas and foothills of the centre of endemism W of Córdoba has a fast song (shorter notes, faster pace) vs relatively slow song of all other populations and taxa, so may represent an undescribed taxon#R. Racial affinities of birds from C Bolivian Yungas in Cochabamba uncertain; tentatively included in argentina. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. maximiliani (d’Orbigny, 1835) – Yungas of W Bolivia (La Paz).
  • M. m. argentina (Hellmayr, 1907) – C Bolivia (Yungas of Cochabamba, and from W Santa Cruz) S on Andean slopes to NW Argentina (S to W Córdoba and N San Luis).
  • M. m. pallida Nores & Yzurieta, 1980 – SE Bolivia, and lowland Chaco of W Paraguay and N Argentina (from E Formosa S to Córdoba).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; male 17·1–18 g, one female 16·7 g, unsexed 16·9–18·2 g. Adult has thinly black-bordered pale buff narrow supercilium from base... read more


    Song loud, resonant, usually increasing in volume. Nominate race and argentina have 2 song... read more


    Arid scrub and grassy areas with scattered small bushes, mainly at 1700–2950 m; down to 1200... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not recorded. Alone, less often in pairs. Hops on or near the ground, usually under dense cover.


    Breeds in Sept–Dec in Argentina; in C Bolivia (Cochabamba), active nest found in Oct and recently fledged young collected in Apr. Two... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Found in several protected areas in Argentina. No potential threats identified.

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2018). Olive-crowned Crescentchest (Melanopareia maximiliani). 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 13 December 2018).