Family Seedsnipes (Thinocoridae)

Least Concern

White-bellied Seedsnipe (Attagis malouinus)


French: Attagis de Magellan German: Weißbauch-Höhenläufer Spanish: Agachona patagona

Tetrao Malouinus


, 1783,

Falkland Islands


N birds have on occasion been separated as subspecies cheeputi, supposedly darker-rumped, but doubtfully valid. Monotypic.


S Chile and Argentina, from Magellanes and Río Negro to islands off Cape Horn.

Descriptive notes

26·5–29 cm; 312–398 g. Cryptically coloured, resembling N Hemisphere ptarmigan (Lagopus) in general appearance. Above and on most of foreparts... read more


Flight calls an excited-sounding “tu-whit tu-whit” or “too-ee too-ee...”, given continually.


Occurs mainly on windswept ridges with scree or in moorland, especially in places with crowberry... read more

Food and feeding

Crowberry and other plant material recorded. No further information available.


Eggs known from Jan, but large chicks also seen in same month. Nest a depression lined with plant matter, e.g. short stems, moss and lichen... read more


Depending on severity of weather, descends in winter to adjacent lowland plains (see also Habitat)... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally occurs at low densities, but largely protected from human interference by occupation of harsh and inaccessible habitat.... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-bellied Seedsnipe (Attagis malouinus). 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 29 February 2020).