Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Near Threatened

Vilcabamba Spinetail (Cranioleuca weskei)


French: Synallaxe de Weske German: Vilcabamba-Baumschlüpfer Spanish: Curutié de Vilcabamba

Cranioleuca marcapatae weskei


, 1984,

Cordillera Vilcabamba, 3250 m, 12°36’ S, 73°30’ W, Cuzco, Peru


Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. marcapatae, but differs in its white crown (3); stronger black lateral crownstripe (1); and much more evenly delivered song, shorter in length (2), faster (at least 2), lower maximum frequency (ns[2]), and different note shape (ns[at least 1])#R. Monotypic.

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

SE Junín (Mantaro Valley), N Ayacucho#R and W Cuzco (Vilcabamba Mts), in SE Peru.

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 19·5–21 g. Compared to the formerly conspecific C. marcapatae, adult has completely white crown (buffier on forecrown), while the malar region is washed... read more


Song similar to that of formerly conspecific C. marcapatae (which see), but differs in... read more


Found in humid montane and elfin forest, especially in Chusquea bamboo; principally at... read more

Food and feeding

Diet presumably a variety of arthropods, with insects, including beetles and a caterpillar, recorded in stomach contents. Forages in pairs... read more


Almost nothing known, but two males of the type series (collected in Jul/Aug) were in breeding condition.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Generally uncommon, but is locally fairly common; recently discovered at several “new” localities in Ayacucho... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Vilcabamba Spinetail (Cranioleuca weskei). 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 25 January 2020).