Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy Foliage-gleaner (Clibanornis rubiginosus)


French: Anabate rubigineux German: Zimtkehl-Baumspäher Spanish: Ticotico castaño

Anabates rubiginosus

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

Córdoba, Veracruz, southern Mexico


Previously placed in Automolus, but genetic data#R#R indicate that it belongs in present genus. Until recently considered conspecific with C. rufipectus (which see). Vocal and morphological distinctiveness of race obscurus suggests a species-rank difference; but vocalizations of many races unknown. Black-tailed nigricauda and saturatus formerly considered a separate species. Proposed race umbrinus (Guatemala) unreliably distinguishable from veraepacis, itself perhaps indistinguishable from nominate. Proposed race moderatus, described from single specimen from N Peru, part of highly variable watkinsi. Form xanthippe (W Panama), proposed as species but considered synonym of fumosus. Racial identity of birds in SW Venezuela (Apure) uncertain; tentatively assigned to cinnamomeigula. Recent specimens from NE Peru (away from Andes) small and dark below, recalling obscurus; may represent an undescribed taxon. Thirteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. guerrerensis (Salvin & Godman, 1891) – SW Mexico (Guerrero, W Oaxaca).
  • C. r. rubiginosus (P. L. Sclater, 1857) – Rusty Foliage-gleaner – mountains of E Mexico (SE San Luis Potosí, E Hidalgo, W Veracruz, E Puebla, N & NE Oaxaca).
  • C. r. veraepacis (Salvin & Godman, 1891) – mountains from S Mexico (E Oaxaca, Chiapas) and Guatemala E to N Nicaragua.
  • C. r. fumosus (Salvin & Godman, 1891) – mountains of extreme SW Costa Rica and W Panama (Chiriquí, W San Blas).
  • C. r. saturatus (Chapman, 1915) – highlands of extreme E Panama (Panamá Province, Darién) and NW Colombia (Antioquia).
  • C. r. nigricauda (E. J. O. Hartert, 1898) – Black-tailed Foliage-gleaner – W Colombia (Baudo Mts, and foothills of W Andes) S to W Ecuador (S to El Oro) and narrowly to N Peru (Tumbes).
  • C. r. sasaimae (Meyer de Schauensee, 1947) – E Andes of Colombia (W slope in Boyacá and Cundinamarca).
  • C. r. cinnamomeigula (Hellmayr, 1905) – Cinnamon-throated Foliage-gleaner – SW Venezuela (W Apure) and foothills of E Colombian Andes (Meta).
  • C. r. venezuelanus (J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1947) – tepui region of S Venezuela (Bolívar, Amazonas) and adjacent Brazil.
  • C. r. obscurus (Pelzeln, 1859) – Dusky Foliage-gleaner – the Guianas and NE Brazil N of R Amazon.
  • C. r. caquetae (Meyer de Schauensee, 1947) – foothills of E Andes in S Colombia (Nariño, Caquetá, Putumayo) and NE Ecuador (Sucumbíos).
  • C. r. brunnescens (Berlioz, 1927) – foothills from E Ecuador (S from Napo) S to NE Peru (Amazonas).
  • C. r. watkinsi (Hellmayr, 1912) – Watkins's Foliage-gleaner – Andean foothills from N Peru (San Martín) S to N Bolivia (La Paz), also extreme SW Brazil (Acre).
  • Also Amazonian NE Peru (away from Andes), where identity uncertain; possibly an undescribed taxon.

    Descriptive notes

    17–20 cm; 39–52 g, obscurus 23–35 g. Nominate race has dark reddish-brown face, faint paler flammulations on ear-coverts, lores duller, slightly... read more


    Call (possibly song) in Mexico a two-noted, nasal “yeh-énk, yeh-énk”,... read more


    Montane and tropical lowland evergreen forest; primarily hilly and lower montane tropical forest in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded dietary items are Orthoptera (including Tettigoniidae), cockroaches (Blattodea), Coleoptera, spiders, also small frogs and lizards... read more


    Eggs in mid May in S Mexico (Oaxaca) and late Jun in NW Ecuador; nestlings in Oct in French Guiana. Mid-sized young also found in SE Peru,... read more


    Resident; suggestion of partial altitudinal migration in Mexico.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare to locally fairly common. Patchy and local in much of its range; reasons for this not understood, possibly related to details of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Ruddy Foliage-gleaner (Clibanornis rubiginosus). 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 25 February 2020).