Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-breasted Brush-finch (Atlapetes latinuchus)


French: Tohi à miroir German: Gelbbrust-Buschammer Spanish: Atlapetes pechiamarillo

Buarremon latinuchus

du Bus de Gisignies

, 1855,

Colombia and Peru


Until recently considered conspecific with A. nigrifrons. Traditionally treated as conspecific with A. rufinucha, but molecular studies indicate that the two are not even each other’s closest relatives, and one genetic study found present species to be paraphyletic with respect to A. pallidinucha#R. Has been suggested that these two species, together with A. terborghi and A. melanolaemus, and A. schistaceus, are related in a complex manner, with yellow coloration lost or gained in a “leap-frog” pattern, such that taxa that do not look alike visually may in fact be closely related to each other. Proposed race simplex (described from Bogotá, and probably originating from E Andes of Colombia) appears indistinguishable from spodionotus and is synonymized with it. Although different termination in species name from those of A. albinucha, A. pallidinucha and A. rufinucha might appear contradictory, all four names are correctly formed noun phrases#R, so in each case original spelling stands. Eight subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. l. elaeoprorus (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1879) – NC Andes of Colombia in Antioquia.
  • A. l. yariguierum Donegan & Huertas, 2006 – Serranía de los Yariguíes (Santander), in Colombia.
  • A. l. caucae Chapman, 1927 – W Andes and W slope at S end of C Andes in Valle and Cauca, in Colombia.
  • A. l. spodionotus (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1879) – Andes in S Colombia (Nariño) and Ecuador (S to Chimborazo).
  • A. l. comptus (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1879) – SW Ecuador (from Cañar S to W Loja) and adjacent NW Peru (Piura).
  • A. l. latinuchus (du Bus de Gisignies, 1855) – SE Ecuador (from E Azuay and E Loja) S to N Peru (Amazonas).
  • A. l. chugurensis Chapman, 1927 – Pacific slope of Cajamarca, in NW Peru.
  • A. l. baroni (Salvin, 1895) – upper Marañón Valley in Cajamarca and La Libertad, in N Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; 16–31 g. Nominate race has forehead to nape medium rufous to orange-rufous, superciliary area and sides of face black; upperparts dark slate-grey, upperwing and tail... read more


    Song fast and complicated, lasting c. 2–3 seconds, usually with three or four distinct parts and a... read more


    Inhabits bushy borders of forest, second growth, roadside thickets and overgrown pastures;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually no details of diet, but stomach contents of one specimen included various small pieces of Coleoptera exoskeleton. May forage on... read more


    Nests found in Aug and Oct in SE Ecuador (nominate race). One nest an untidy open cup of dead and dry leaves and leaf strips from various... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common. Because of its large global range, moderate to high level of abundance, and adaptability to disturbed habitats, this... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Yellow-breasted Brush-finch (Atlapetes latinuchus). 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 7 April 2020).