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Furnariidae – Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers

Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper in Ecuador: Photo by Dušan Brinkhuizen

The Furnariidae family, known as ovenbirds and woodcreepers, comprises over 300 species found throughout the Neotropics. These birds inhabit a variety of ecosystems from lowland rainforests to high Andean páramos. They are known for their diverse nesting habits, often constructing elaborate nests in cavities, burrows, or woven structures.

Overview of Furnariidae

One of the three mega-diverse families of Neotropical passerines, Furnariidae encompasses morphologically diverse species that thrive in nearly all habitats of the region. With tails and bills adapted to various insectivorous foraging niches, they inhabit coastal rocks, Andean fell fields, and all forested areas in between. These birds run on the ground, scamper along branches, climb tree trunks, and burrow into the ground. Furnariids boast remarkable morphological diversity, the greatest variety of nest types of any bird family, and a broad dietary range. Their plumage, often featuring shades like rufous, rusty, ruddy, or russet (as well as fulvous or fuscous), provides a useful clue to their identification.