Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Wren-like Rushbird (Phleocryptes melanops)


French: Junquero troglodyte German: Binsenschlüpfer Spanish: Junquero

Sylvia melanops


, 1817,



Proposed race juninensis (near L Junín, in C Peru), purportedly with brighter plumage, apparently not diagnosable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. brunnescens J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – coastal W Peru from Piura (rare)#R and Lambayeque S to Ica.
  • P. m. schoenobaenus Cabanis & Heine, 1860 – #RC & S Peru (L Junín area in Andes of Junín, Altiplano region of Puno), W Bolivia (La Paz S to Oruro) and NW Argentina (Jujuy).
  • P. m. loaensis R. A. Philippi [Bañados] & Goodall, 1946 – coastal S Peru (Arequipa) and N Chile (Tarapacá, Antofagasta#R).
  • P. m. melanops (Vieillot, 1817) – lowlands of SE Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo S to Rio Grande do Sul), Argentina (Tucumán E to Misiones, S to Chubut and [rare] Santa Cruz#R) and Chile (Atacama S to Magallanes), but N limits of breeding unclear; also to Paraguay in non-breeding season.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 11–16 g. Small furnariid, remarkably similar in plumage to Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris). Male nominate race has prominent buff... read more


    A repeated mechanical ticking, repeated several times per second, sometimes for several minutes,... read more


    Freshwater marshes; fresh or brackish marshes and lake edges with aquatic vegetation, especially... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods. In a study in Chile, prey items delivered to nestlings were nymphs and naiads of Odonata (11∙4%), spiders (20%), naiads of... read more


    Breeds during austral spring/summer; eggs in Sept and Jan in Peru, Oct and Feb in S Brazil and Sept–Jan in Argentina and Chile;... read more


    Mainly resident; some N migration by S populations during austral winter, but uncertain whether any... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common in appropriate habitat. Dependence on wetlands with emergent vegetation renders it somewhat vulnerable; many local populations... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr, de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Wren-like Rushbird (Phleocryptes melanops). 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).