Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)


Puna Thistletail (Asthenes helleri)


French: Synallaxe de Heller German: Punacanastero Spanish: Piscuiz de la puna

Schizœaca helleri


, 1923,

Cedrobamba, 12,000 feet [c. 3660 m], Cuzco, Peru


See A. harterti. Birds from S Puno (Peru), with darker plumage and probably significantly smaller body size, appear to represent an undescribed taxon. Monotypic.


Andes of S Peru (Cuzco, Puno) and N Bolivia (extreme N La Paz).

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 13–16 g. Typical thistletail. Has vague greyish supercilium behind eye, brownish-grey face; crown dark rufescent brown, forehead greyer and faintly... read more


Song a series of sputtering notes, increasing in volume and then fading at end, “pee-pee-p-p-... read more


Páramo grassland and elfin forest; inhabits dense undergrowth in timber-line... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods. Forages singly or in pairs. Gleans prey from foliage and branches in understorey.


No information. Presumably monogamous.



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Bolivian and Peruvian Upper Yungas EBA. Uncommon to fairly common. No population estimates, but total population rather small... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Puna Thistletail (Asthenes helleri). 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 6 December 2019).