Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Spinetail (Hellmayrea gularis)


French: Synallaxe à sourcils blancs German: Kurzschwanz-Dickichtschlüpfer Spanish: Pijuí paramero

Synnalaxis [sic] gularis


, 1843,

Colombia = “Bogotá”


Formerly placed in Synallaxis, but differs genetically and in voice and foraging behaviour#R#R; recent phylogenetic study#R found it more closely related to Asthenes. Validity of race cinereiventris merits investigation, as similar-looking birds have been reported near localities of nominate in Cundinamarca (Colombia). Comparative analyses of population divergence in E Andes#R suggests presence of a further two phenotypically and genetically divergent lineages; more study needed. Proposed races rufipectus (C Andes of Colombia), described as more rufescent above and below, and pichinchae (Andes of Ecuador), said to differ from it in being paler below and darker above, considered indistinguishable from nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. g. gularis (Lafresnaye, 1843) – Andes of W Venezuela (S Táchira), Colombia (all three ranges), Ecuador and N Peru (Cajamarca).
  • H. g. brunneidorsalis (Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1953) – NE Colombia and NW Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá).
  • H. g. cinereiventris (Chapman, 1912) – Andes of W Venezuela (Trujillo S to N Táchira).
  • H. g. rufiventris (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896) – Andes of N & C Peru (Amazonas S to N Ayacucho#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–13 cm; 11–15 g. Distinctively short-tailed spinetail. Nominate race has narrow whitish supercilia nearly meeting on forehead; loral region, face and malar area... read more


    Song a series of high-pitched notes ending in trill, “chit-chit-chit-chit-chi-chi-... read more


    Montane evergreen forest, elfin forest; dense undergrowth and edge of humid cloudforest, often in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. Forages singly or in pairs, occasionally with mixed-species flocks. Gleans and probes moss, bark, dense foliage, dead leaves,... read more


    No information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common generally; probably local, as e.g. in Venezuela. Not very well known.

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr & Boesman, P. (2019). White-browed Spinetail (Hellmayrea gularis). 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 5 December 2019).