Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Plain-breasted Earthcreeper (Upucerthia jelskii)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Buff-breasted Earthcreeper (Upucerthia validirostris).


French: Upucerthie de Jelski German: Fahlkehl-Erdhacker Spanish: Bandurrita de Jelski

Coprotretis Jelskii


, 1874,

Junín, Peru


Closest to U. albigula and U. validirostris. Has been considered to form a superspecies with latter, and may be conspecific; considered together, the two exhibit a stepped cline in plumage coloration (increasingly rufescent to S) and perhaps a smooth cline in measurements, and songs sound very similar (although written descriptions differ somewhat); on the other hand, they appear to overlap in range in S Bolivia (Potosí); further study needed. Vocally distinctive race pallida possibly a separate species. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm; 33–42 g. Medium-sized to rather large, rather plain earthcreeper with strongly curved, relatively thin bill. Has pale buffish-white supercilium, nearly... read more


Song a rich irregular trill “drrrrrr…” rising and then falling in pitch,... read more


Arid montane scrub; rocky, shrubby slopes, especially in washes and ravines, and rocky puna... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods; recorded items are lepidopteran larvae, and larvae and adults of Coleoptera. Forages solitarily or in pairs. Probes in and... read more


Breeds during austral summer, in Jan–Feb in C Peru; nestlings in Feb in S Peru, and eggs in Nov in Chile. Presumably monogamous. Nest... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Considered fairly common throughout range. Habitat appears to be reasonably secure, with overgrazing by livestock as the only obvious potential... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr (2019). Plain-breasted Earthcreeper (Upucerthia jelskii). 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 2019).