Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)


French: Fournier roux German: Rosttöpfer Spanish: Hornero común

Merops rufus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

Buenos Aires, Argentina


Plumage pattern and biogeography suggest that most likely sister-species is F. cristatus. Race albogularis previously known as badius, but that taxon was described within genus Turdus, in which the name was preoccupied. Significant variation in body size follows Bergmann’s Rule, with largest birds farthest from equator. Relative distributions in Argentina of paraguayae and commersoni require further study. Proposed race schuhmacheri (S Bolivia) appears to be not diagnosable; description believed to have been based on worn specimens. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. r. commersoni Pelzeln, 1868 – C & E Bolivia (La Paz and Beni S to Tarija and Santa Cruz), SW Brazil (Mato Grosso) and NW Argentina (N Salta, SE Jujuy).
  • F. r. paraguayae Cherrie & Reichenberger, 1921 – Paraguay and N Argentina (Formosa S to La Rioja, N Santiago del Estero and N Santa Fe).
  • F. r. albogularis (Spix, 1824) – E & SE Brazil (Tocantins, S Ceará, Alagoas and Bahia S to Goiás, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro).
  • F. r. rufus (J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – SE Brazil (Paraná S to Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay and C & E Argentina (from S Santiago del Estero E to Corrientes, S to Neuquén and NE Chubut).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–23 cm; 31–65 g. Large ovenbird with medium-length, nearly straight bill. Has poorly defined light rufous super­cilium, loral area and malar area, slightly... read more


    Song a long, rhythmic, raucous burst of loud, sharp “kweep!” notes, trails off towards... read more


    Second-growth scrub, pastures and agricultural land; a variety of open habitats, particularly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods and other invertebrates; also some seeds. Reported dietary items are Coleoptera (of families Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae,... read more


    Season largely during austral spring-summer; eggs in Sept–Dec and nestlings in Oct to mid-Jan in Argentina; nestlings in Oct–... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to abundant throughout range in suitable habitats, i.e. human-disturbed areas. Benefits from moderate anthropogenic habitat alteration; has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Bonan, A. (2020). Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus). 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).