Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Spot-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus maculipectus)


French: Synallaxe maculé German: Sprenkelbrust-Bündelnister Spanish: Espinero pechimoteado

Phacellodomus maculipectus


, 1883,

near San Javier, Tucumán


Sister to P. dorsalis. Until recently considered conspecific with P. striaticollis, but differs in its shorter wing (effect size −3.47, score 2); grey vs yellow iris (2); darker red-brown breast with stronger white streaks and speckling, this pattern extending onto lower face, where there is no pattern at all in striaticollis (2); narrow white streaks in crown (2); stronger, longer white supercilium (ns[1]); darker, richer lower underparts and flanks (ns[1]); lack of association with water (1); somewhat different nest shape (ns); and significantly different calls, which are longer, faster-paced (effect size 5.3, score 3) and higher-pitched (effect size 2.67, score 2). Undescribed race in forest fragments in Catamarca and La Rioja (NW Argentina) has dark chestnut forehead concolorous with rest of crown, and darker, more olivaceous back. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Andes from C Bolivia (SE Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz) S to NW Argentina (S to La Rioja).

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 19·5–25·5 g. Morphology similar to that of formerly conspecific P. striaticollis; has an undescribed race in NW Argentina (see Taxonomy). Has grey eyes,... read more


Song described as similar to that of formerly conspecific P. striaticollis, but stronger,... read more


Inhabits dry to semi-humid montane woodland (e.g. Alnus acuminate, Podocarpus)... read more

Food and feeding

Recorded food items are Coleoptera and their larvae. Usually in pairs, foraging from ground to understorey. Gleans arthropods from ground... read more


Season during austral spring-summer; eggs in Oct–Nov, perhaps from Sept. Monogamous. Nest a cylindrical or triangular mass (c. 30 cm × 31–... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to uncommon and population believed to be stable, but not quantified. Known from El Rey National Park, in NW Argentina. read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Spot-breasted Thornbird (Phacellodomus maculipectus). 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 17 February 2020).