Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Trilling Tapaculo (Scytalopus parvirostris)


French: Mérulaxe à petit bec German: Trillertapaculo Spanish: Churrín trinador

Scytalopus unicolor parvirostris

J. T. Zimmer

, 1939,

Río Aceramarca, 10,800 feet [c. 3290 m], Bolivia


Formerly treated as a race of S. unicolor, but vocalizations differ. Some geographical variation in song suggests possible subspecific differences; further study required. Monotypic.


NW Peru (Amazonas S & E of R Marañón) along E slope of Andes S to EC Bolivia (W Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

10·5 cm; male 17·5–21 g, female 15·4–18 g. A fairly small grey tapaculo. Adult is sometimes uniform dark grey; more often dark grey above, below slightly paler,... read more


Song a rapid trill 10–15 seconds long (after playback, up to minutes long), pace varying... read more


Undergrowth of humid montane forest. Present at 1800–2500 m in C Peru, where replaced at... read more

Food and feeding

No information on diet. Forages alone or in pairs. Creeps around in densest undergrowth, feeding mostly on the ground.


Juvenile collected in Jul. No other information.


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to uncommon. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g. in Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, in Peru; present along the Inca Trail... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Trilling Tapaculo (Scytalopus parvirostris). 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 18 February 2020).