Family Cotingas (Cotingidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-tailed Plantcutter (Phytotoma rara)


French: Rara à queue rousse German: Rotschwanz-Pflanzenmäher Spanish: Cortarramas chileno

Phytotoma rara


, 1782,



Sister to the pair P. raimondii and P. rutila#R. Monotypic.


C & S Chile (S from Vallenar, in S Atacama, to Magallanes) and SW Argentina (S from W Neuquén to W Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

18–20 cm; 38–44 g. Distinctive, with short crest, bright eye, short, stout, conical bill with finely serrated edges. Male has chestnut crown, blackish head side;... read more


Mechanical-sounding rasp, “e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-errrrrrrr”, initial notes accelerating... read more


Open thorny scrub (e.g. with Berberis bushes), woodland edges, clearings in Nothofagus... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly grasses, buds, shoots and leaves, especially of legumes, also some fruits and berries; insects also taken. Clear preference for... read more


Two seasons, in Oct–Nov and in Dec–Jan; eggs in Jan and Oct–Dec, nestlings in Nov. Shallow cup-shaped nest, diameter 14... read more


Resident in most of range. Those in far S migrate N after breeding; also, individuals breeding at... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common and widespread. Not restricted to undisturbed habitats, as it occurs in secondary forest, agricultural areas and even gardens. Occurs... read more

Recommended citation

Walther, B. (2019). Rufous-tailed Plantcutter (Phytotoma rara). 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 7 December 2019).