Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria)


French: Upucerthie des buissons German: Schuppenkehl-Erdhacker Spanish: Bandurrita común

Upucerthia Dumetaria

I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

, 1832,

Patagonia = banks of the Río Negro, Argentina


Until recently considered conspecific with U. saturatior (which see). Proposed race hallinani (N Chile, NW Argentina) appears to represent clinal extreme of paleness at N end of range of hypoleuca. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • U. d. peruana J. T. Zimmer, 1954 – Andes of S Peru (Puno).
  • U. d. hypoleuca Reichenbach, 1853 – W Bolivia, C Chile (Antofagasta S to Maule) and W Argentina (Jujuy S to N Río Negro, E to Córdoba).
  • U. d. dumetaria I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1832 – S Chile (Aisén, Magallanes) and C & S Argentina (Córdoba and Buenos Aires S to N Tierra del Fuego); S populations migrate to N Argentina and S Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 37–55·5 g. Large earthcreeper with long, strongly decurved bill. Nominate race has whitish supercilium, rest of face grizzled greyish white and... read more


    Song (often given from top of bushes) rendered “chippy, chippy, chippy, chip” or... read more


    Arid montane scrub, arid lowland scrub, and puna grassland, to 4000 m. Inhabits shrubby slopes and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Usually solitary. Forages by probing and gleaning ground.


    Breeds during austral summer; eggs and nestlings in Oct–Dec in Chile and Argentina. Presumably monogamous. Nest at end of tunnel 1... read more


    Mainly resident, with some post-breeding downslope movement. Nominate race probably leaves Tierra... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common in S portion of range. Evidently very rare in N; in Bolivia has been found at just a few localities, and there are no... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Scale-throated Earthcreeper (Upucerthia dumetaria). 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).