16–18 cm; 15–17 g. Plumage is bright reddish rufous, apart from dark loral area  , dull greyish-olive back, olive flanks, concealed blackish bases of throat feathers; tail long, graduated, 10 rectrices with shafts slightly stiffened, tips pointed, outer webs slightly disintegrated, duller rufous; iris  reddish-brown; upper mandible black  , lower mandible blue-grey; tarsus and toes grey to blue-grey. Differs from S. unirufa in back colour, less contrasting loral area, black bases of throat feathers less extensive, tail duller. Sexes alike. Juvenile has much duller crown, underparts edged tawny-olive, faint barring on belly, light brown eyes, yellowish-pink lower mandible.

Similar species

In its range there is no other species with which it can be easily confused.

Regional Differences

It is considered a monotypic species.


This species is endemic to Colombia. It is distributed from 1000 to 4600 m high above sea level in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, although it is mainly found from 2000 to 3000 m high.


It lives in humid primary forests where it uses the middle and upper strata. It also uses forest edges, shrubs in open areas, weedy clearings and thickets with vines and brambles where it commonly uses the lower layer of vegetation (0.5 to 7 m high). It has been found to have a certain degree of affinity with the growths of Chusquea sp. in intervened forests above 2000 m above sea level.


Their diet is mainly made up of arthropods, but it is unknown which groups in particular are part of it.


Reproductive individuals have been recorded from January to June and young individuals in June and July. There is no more information about it.


Stay in pairs, family groups, or mixed flocks. Forages in the lower stratum of vegetation (mainly 0.5 to 7 m high) where it forages for prey in foliage and along small branches in dense thickets.


Its taxonomic situation does not register recent revision.

Conservation status

This species is classified as Vulnerable at the international level and as Near Threatened at the national level. Although it is a common species in its range, the area in which it is found is suffering loss of vegetation due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier and the establishment of pastures for cattle. It is estimated that this species has lost about 59% of its habitat and added to this, some important areas for this species are found outside protected areas such as the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo, which is not included in the PNN Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.




  • Avibase (2018). Species factsheet: Synallaxis fuscorufa. Downloaded from https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?lang=EN&avibaseid=54649F25CEB15AE2
  • BirdLife International (2018) Species factsheet: Synallaxis fuscorufa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/22/2018
  • Hilty, S. L. and W. L. Brown. 2001. Guide to the Birds of Colombia. Princetn. Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 13 February 2018
  • Jobling, C. 2010. The Helm dictionary of scientific birds names. Christopher Helm and A & C Black Publishers Ltda. London. 433p.
  • Remsen, J. V., Jr., C. D. Cadena, A. Jaramillo, M. Nores, J. F. Pacheco, J. Pérez-Emán, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, D. F. Stotz, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 22 April 2017. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithologists’ Union. http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html.