Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Orange-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus ferrugineigula)


French: Synallaxe à gorge rousse German: Orangebrust-Bündelnister Spanish: Espinero pechicanelo

Anumbius ferrugineigula


, 1858,

Cape Horn; error = State of São Paulo, Brazil


Until recently considered conspecific with P. erythrophthalmus, but sympatric in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais#R; differs in its more extensive chestnut on crown (ns[2]), dull red vs pale orange iris (3), orange-rufous vs chestnut on throat, this extending right down onto lower breast rather than just reaching upper breast (3), buffy vs dark grey-tinged rufous on belly (ns[2]), dark greyish central rectrices obscuring rich chestnut outer rectrices vs all rich chestnut (2), use of leaves and stems vs woody material in nest#R (1); also, song from published data#R lower-pitched (effect size −7.9, score 3), shorter (effect size −3.09, score 2) and with fewer, shorter notes. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

S Minas Gerais and S Espírito Santo to S Rio Grande do Sul, in SE Brazil, and Rivera and Cerro Largo, in N Uruguay#R#R.

Descriptive notes

17·8–18·4 cm; 24–25 g. Medium-sized thornbird with dull red eyes and somewhat unusual plumage pattern. Sexes alike. Juvenile undescribed. Adult differs from formerly... read more


Song a series of loud ringing notes introduced by 1–2 softer notes, “ku, keeé-keeé-keeé-keeé-keeé-... read more


Inhabits freshwater marshes (e.g. Eryngium pandanifolium, Typha dominguensis,... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Seen singly or in pairs; evidently gleans arthropods from foliage and branches in dense undergrowth.


Season poorly known, but nests with eggs in Minas Gerais in late Dec and late Feb. Presumably monogamous. Nest constructed of leaves and... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Atlantic Forest Lowlands EBA. Formerly considered endemic to Brazil, but recently (since 2006)... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Orange-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus ferrugineigula). 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 17 February 2020).