Short-billed leaftosser

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Short-billed leaftosser
Sclerurus rufigularis Castelnau.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Furnariidae
Genus: Sclerurus
Species: S. rufigularis
Binomial name
Sclerurus rufigularis
Pelzeln, 1868

The short-billed leaftosser (Sclerurus rufigularis) is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.


The short-billed leaftosser is a stocky bird with a short tail. It reaches a length of about 15 cm (6 in) and compared to other leaftossers its beak is short, being 15 mm (0.6 in) rather than 25 mm (1.0 in) long. Otherwise, it is similar in appearance to the tawny-throated leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus) being dark brown with a buffy-ochre throat and rufous breast. It may have a faint reddish-brown eye-stripe and pale brown eye-ring.[2]


This funarid has a widespread distribution in the northern Amazon rainforest. Its range includes Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil, and extends into the Andean foothills up to an altitude of about 800 m (2,600 ft).[1][3]


Leaftossers are secretive birds that move through the undergrowth probing the leaf-litter with their beaks. They are difficult to observe, but may be recognised by the calls they emit, particularly at dawn and dusk.[3] Short-billed leaftossers feed on the ground, hopping rather than walking, probing moist soil and rotten wood with their beaks and flicking aside dead leaves while foraging for small invertebrates.[4][5] Their diet includes spiders, insect egg cases, ants, beetle larvae and adult beetles.[6]


Compared to similar-sized ground-dwelling, birds, S. rufigularis is intolerant of fragmentation of its forest habitat and does not persist in isolated remnants of forest. This may be because of its inability to cross open ground and thus it is unable to disperse or recolonise forest fragments, or it may be due to a failure to adapt to the forest-edge changes in its habitat.[6] However, even if the number of birds is declining somewhat, the bird has a very extensive range and a presumed large total population, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".[1]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2012). "Sclerurus rufigularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Hilty, Steven L.; Brown, Bill (1986). A Guide to the Birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press. pp. 376–377. ISBN 0-691-08372-X. 
  3. ^ a b Schulenberg, Thomas S.; Stotz, Douglas F.; Lane, Daniel F.; O'Neill, John P.; Parker, Theodore A. III (2010). Birds of Peru. Princeton University Press. p. 336. ISBN 1-4008-3449-X. 
  4. ^ Remsen, J.V. Jr (2003). "Short-billed Leaftosser (Sclerurus rufigularis)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Josep del Hoyo; Andrew Elliott; Jordi Sargatal (2003). Handbook of the Birds of the World: Broadbills to tapaculos. Buteo Books. ISBN 978-84-87334-50-4. 
  6. ^ a b Mestre, Luiz Augusto Macedo; Cohn-Haft, Mario; Dias, Manoel Martins (2010). "Diet and prey availability of terrestrial insectivorous birds prone to extinction in Amazonian forest fragments". Curitiba. 53 (6). doi:10.1590/S1516-89132010000600014. 

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