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Species Guide

Buff-rumped Warbler

Myiothlypis fulvicauda

The Buff-rumped Warbler, known scientifically as Myiothlypis fulvicauda, is a small, active bird of the New World warbler family. It measures approximately 13 to 13.5 cm in length and weighs around 14.5 grams. This species is characterized by its dark olive-brown upperparts and grey head, with a distinctive buff supercilium. Its name is derived from the rich buff coloration on its rump and upper tail, while the lower half of the tail is a contrasting blackish hue. The underparts are primarily whitish, with some buff on the flanks. Both sexes exhibit similar plumage, though juveniles are somewhat browner with a paler rump.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Buff-rumped Warbler, look for the conspicuous buff rump and upper tail, which are key distinguishing features. The bird also has a buff supercilium and whitish underparts with buff flanks. The tail's lower half is blackish, which can be seen when the bird is in flight or when it fans its tail.


This warbler is found in forests up to 1500 meters in altitude, always in close proximity to water sources such as streams or rivers.


The Buff-rumped Warbler is a resident species ranging from Honduras in Central America, extending southward to northwestern Peru, and also found disjunctly in the western Amazon.


A common and easily observed species, the Buff-rumped Warbler is known for its ground foraging behavior. It can be seen hopping along the ground, often near water, while constantly pumping and swinging its broad tail. This bird defends its linear feeding territories along streams throughout the year.

Song & Calls

The call of the Buff-rumped Warbler is a hard "tschik," reminiscent of the Northern Waterthrush. The male's song is a delightful warble followed by a series of 8-15 ringing "chew" notes, to which the female may respond with a soft reply.


The breeding pair constructs a bulky domed nest with a side entrance, typically situated on a sloping bank next to a stream or path. The female lays two white eggs, which are incubated for 16–17 days. After hatching, the fledging period lasts for another 13–14 days.

Similar Species

There are five subspecies of the Buff-rumped Warbler, each with slight variations in plumage and distribution. These include M. f. semicervina, M. f. motacilla, M. f. leucopygia, M. f. veraguensis, and M. f. significans. Differences among them range from the extent and shade of the buff areas to the presence of dark spotting on the breast.

Diet and Feeding

The Buff-rumped Warbler primarily feeds on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. It forages on the ground or catches prey in flight in open areas along stream banks, puddles, roadsides, or tracks.

Conservation Status

According to the IUCN Red List, the Buff-rumped Warbler is classified as Least Concern, indicating that it currently does not face any significant threats to its population.

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Buff-rumped Warblers on Birda


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