Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)


White-tailed Canastero (Asthenes usheri)


French: Synallaxe d’Usher German: Blassbürzelcanastero Spanish: Canastero coliblanco

Asthenes d’orbignyi usheri


, 1947,

Ninabamba, 7000 feet [c. 2130 m], Pampas River Valley, Ayacucho, Peru


Usually treated as a race of A. dorbignyi, but sometimes as a race of A. huancavelicae. Has alternatively been considered a full species, and this view adopted here on basis of its large bill (sample size small, but at least 2); whitish vs cinnamon (or darker) outer rectrices (2); and song which is closest in structure to A. huancavelicae but much shorter (at least 2) and both much higher-pitched (3) and flatter-pitched (ns[2])#R. Monotypic.


Andes of SC Peru (Pampas and upper Apurímac drainages).

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm. A handsomely patterned unstreaked canastero that is more similar in plumage and tail structure to syntopic Phacellodomus striaticeps than to congeners.... read more


Song is a monotonous, ringing and fairly high-pitched and intense trill at an even pace but rising... read more


Arid habitats in valley bottoms and on stony and rocky slopes dominated by columnar cacti, but also... read more

Food and feeding

No information, but diet presumably as in A. dorbignyi. Forages both on ground and low down in trees and bushes.


Young observed in Feb. Very little known, but builds a semi-spherical nest, c. 40 cm in diameter, of sticks (apparently always much smaller... read more


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Considered rare to uncommon. Population estimated at fewer than 10,000 individuals, within an overall range of c. 9700 km². The species’ habitat is thought to be... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-tailed Canastero (Asthenes usheri). 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 27 January 2020).