Sumichrasts Wren (Hylorchilus sumichrasti)

Sumichrasts Wren

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Troglodytidae | [latin] Hylorchilus sumichrasti | [UK] Sumichrasts Wren | [FR] Troglodyte a bec mince | [DE] Schmalschnabel-Zaunkonig | [ES] Chivirin de Sumichrast | [NL] Dunsnavelwinterkoning


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Sumichrast?s Wren is sexually monomorphic in plumage. Eyes blackish. Bill slender, fairly long; blackish above, orange-yellow below at least basally. Head, nape, back, wings, rump and tail dark brown. Face paler grayish with dark auricular mark. Throat pale buff becoming tawny-brown on chest and dark brown on belly and feathers that cover undertail, belly flecked white. Legs dark gray. Males and females are similar. Juveniles are similar to adults, but throat washed dirty buff and faintly scaled dusky, underparts (throat, chest, belly, flanks and feathers that cover undertail) darker sooty brown with paler mottling on chest, sparse whitish flecks on belly.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 17 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Middle America : Mexico. Hylorchilus sumichrasti is restricted to c.12 sites in west-central Veracruz, north Oaxaca and extreme east Puebla, south Mexico, where it is fairly common but local. It occupies a limited area of suitable habitat within an extent of occurrence c.6,000 km2


The species inhabits naturally patchy limestone outcrops in steep hilly country covered by lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forest at elevations of 75-1,000 m. It also occurs in shade coffee plantations and adjacent to quarrying operations, and two pairs are known to have had their territories in less than 0.5 ha of habitat, indicating some tolerance of habitat degradation, disturbance and fragmentation.


The female builds the nest, but both parents provide the materials. Make a series of reproductive displays before initiating copulation; during incubation, the male brings food to the nest entrance. The care and feeding of the fledglings are done by both parents. The reproductive period is between March and July and probably in August. The nest is a cup of grasses, roots, leaves and small dried branches, mosses, etc., within caves and crevices. Puts 3 eggs white. In July, one can see the parents with the offspring.

Feeding habits

It feeds mostly on invertebrates, but also takes small fruits. Often move between the rocks poking its bill into small crevices between rocks or in crevices to extract small vertebrates; usually seen feeding at ground level, and rarely on branches, where makes movements with the head to examine the substrate, looking among the litter with the bill, or digging to obtain small invertebrates. Sometimes, peck at air with a few breaks to catch flying insects that move on the site where it is perched. Larger prey, are beaten against the rocks several times before being swallowed in a single time. The foraging may be accompanied by short vocalizations emitted during capture and after feeding; forages in pairs maintaining constant communication, that increase when separated or lost from sight. After eating, rubs their bill against rocks or branches to dispose of waste food.


This species has an extremely small range and a moderately small population. Both its range and population are possibly in decline owing to increasing habitat loss and degradation. However, the range is not yet severely fragmented or restricted to few locations. For these reasons, the species is classified as Near Threatened.
The forested limestone outcrops inhabited by the species are poor for cultivation compared with the surrounding flatter land and have been spared complete conversion to maize fields and cattle pasture. It is more threatened by the expansion of limestone-quarrying, although its habitat is increasingly threatened by encroaching cultivation and cattle ranches. Some habitat has undoubtedly been lost to the extensive Presa Miguel Aleman reservoir in north Oaxaca. There are no populations within protected areas, and given its relatively narrow ecological tolerance, this could be a cause for concern.
Sumichrasts Wren status Near Threatened



Distribution map

Sumichrasts Wren distribution range map

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