Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis)


French: Synallaxe à front sombre German: Graustirn-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Pijuí frentigrís

Synallaxis frontalis


, 1859,

Rio São Francisco, Bahia, Brazil


See S. albescens. Proposed taxon S. poliophrys was based on misidentified specimen of present species. Plumage varies clinally, being brightest in NE and dullest in SW; traditionally recognized form fuscipennis (Bolivia) almost certainly based on this subtle clinal variation, as none of its alleged characters (broader and greyer frontal band, duller back, brown inner webs of central rectrices) allows diagnosis of individual specimens, even when comparing extremes from foothills of Bolivian Andes with distant populations in NE Argentina. Population of R Cotacajes, in Cochabamba (Bolivia), apparently represents an undescribed race. Monotypic.


E, S & SE Brazil (Maranhão E to Rio Grande do Norte, and S to Mato Grosso do Sul and N São Paulo, also S Rio Grande do Sul), E Bolivia (Cochabamba S to Tarija and Santa Cruz), N Argentina (S to Mendoza, La Pampa and N Buenos Aires), Paraguay (except SE) and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm; 11–17 g. Has brownish-grey supercilium and face, slightly paler, grizzled loral area; forehead and forecrown dark grey-brown, hindcrown and hindneck... read more


Most frequent vocalization a sharp double note described as “ka-kwee-éék... read more


Tropical deciduous forest, gallery forest edge, secondary forest edge; undergrowth and edge of... read more

Food and feeding

Little published information. Recorded dietary items include Coleoptera. Usually found in pairs, generally in understorey, occasionally... read more


Season during austral spring-summer; eggs in Oct–Mar in NW Argentina. Presumably monogamous. Nest a globular mass c. 20–40 cm... read more


Resident; populations breeding in extreme S suspected of being partially migratory.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common, including in heavily disturbed habitats. Occurs in Serra do Cipó and Chapada dos Guimarães National Parks and... read more

Recommended citation

Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis). 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 23 January 2020).