Family Tapaculos (Rhinocryptidae)

Least Concern

Vilcabamba Tapaculo (Scytalopus urubambae)


French: Mérulaxe de Vilcabamba German: Vilcabambatapaculo Spanish: Churrín de Vilcabamba

Scytalopus magellanicus urubambae

J. T. Zimmer

, 1939,

Cedrobamba, 12,000 feet [c. 3660 m], Urubamba Valley, Peru


Formerly treated as a race of S. magellanicus. Closely related to S. simonsi and perhaps S. schulenbergi, and apparently also to two undescribed species from SC Peru (one at 3450–3650 m in Pasco, one at 3000–4000 m in Apurímac)#R#R. Monotypic.


Andes of EC Peru in S Cordillera Vilcabamba.

Descriptive notes

10 cm; one male 13 g. A small tapaculo with bright orange flanks. Male has upperparts dark grey, rump and uppertail-coverts rufous-brown with indistinct bars, wings dusky;... read more


Song a “churr” at 3·1–3·4 kHz (first overtone; fundamental barely... read more


Humid montane and elfin forest, often in areas dominated by moss and boulders, at 3500–4170m.

Food and feeding

Diet not recorded. Hops and creeps around in nooks and crannies in boulder fields, and in dense mossy vegetation at tree-line.


No information.


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common, at least in some areas, e.g. locally common in Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary; observed along Inca Trail between Sayacmarca and... read more

Recommended citation

Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2020). Vilcabamba Tapaculo (Scytalopus urubambae). 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 19 February 2020).