email a friend
printable version
Peruvian Recurvebill Simoxenops ucayalae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This scarce species is thought to have a moderately small population size, with highly fragmented populations occurring over a wide range. It is likely to be declining owing to habitat loss in parts of the range. It is therefore considered Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Philydor ucayalae Collar and Andrew (1988)

Size: 19 cm. Summary: A scarce uniform furnarid with a distinctive large upturned bill. Id: Massive bluish (except blackish on ridge) bill with upturned lower mandible. Above rufescent brown, rufous brown, duskier on crown and wings, rump and tail rufous chestnut. Poorly defined ochraceous supercilium. Underparts orange rufous with faint flammulations on sides of throat and breast. Immature with more conspicuous supercilium and black scalloping on underparts. Similar: Bolivian Recurvebill S. striatus is not sympatric. Chestnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner Automolus rufipileatus and Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner A. melanopezus are similar and occur sympatrically but both lack the massive up-turned bill. Hints: favours areas of Guadua bamboo where it forages singly or in pairs, rarely in association with flocks. Best located by call, song or hammering sounds as it forages. Voice: Frequently given call a distinctive loud repeated "chek"; song a fast sharply ascending series of harsh nasal notes lasting about 5 seconds.

Distribution and population
Simoxenops ucayalae has a fragmented range, with a core population in south-east Peru (south Ucayali and Madre de Dios) and extreme north-east Bolivia (Camino Mueden in Pando), and three isolated populations in Amazonian Brazil (Alta Floresta, north Mato Grosso, near the east bank of the lower rio Xingu, south of Altamira, Pará, and at two sites on the upper rio Juruá, Acre) (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Whittaker and Oren 1999). 

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'uncommon'. A tentative population estimate of c.2,000 pairs has been suggested for Peru.

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 12.1-13.3% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (11 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to fragmentation and/or edge effects, it is therefore suspected to decline by <25% over three generations.

It is rare to locally uncommon to 1,300 m, in the undergrowth of lowland evergreen, floodplain and river-edge forest, primarily in or near thickets of Guadua bamboo (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996, Kratter 1997).

It appears tolerant of small-scale timber extraction and selective logging. Habitat within its core range is relatively intact, but the region, including those areas under legal protection, is being opened up for development, with oil/gas extraction and mining, and associated road-building and human colonisation, including uncontrolled tourism, resulting in further degradation (Dinerstein et al. 1995, H. Lloyd in litt. 1999, Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
Occurs in Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve, as well as Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone in Peru. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys within and adjacent to the known range in order to determine its true distribution and abundance. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable forest within its known range, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Kratter, A. W. 1997. Bamboo specialization by Amazonian birds. Biotropica 29: 100-110.

Parker, T. A.; Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W. 1996. Ecological and distributional databases. In: Stotz, D.F.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Parker, T.A.; Moskovits, D.K. (ed.), Neotropical bird ecology and conservation, pp. 113-436. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. 1994. The birds of South America. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Whittaker, A.; Oren, D. C. 1999. Important ornithological records from the Rio Juruá, western Amazonia, including twelve additions to the Brazilian avifauna. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 119: 235-260.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Gilroy, J., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J

Lloyd, H.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Simoxenops ucayalae. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Furnariidae (Ovenbirds)
Species name author (Chapman, 1928)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 257,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species