Tuesday 18 June
Blackish cinclodes (Cinclodes antarcticus)
Blackish cinclodes fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Blackish cinclodes description
A small, sturdily-built passerine, the blackish cinclodes (Cinclodes antarcticus) is renowned for its inquisitive behaviour and astonishing tameness (2) (3) (4) (5). It is a drab, sooty-brown bird overall, often slightly paler on the throat (5) (6).
Two subspecies of blackish cinclodes are recognised, Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus and Cinclodes antarcticus maculirostris. The nominate subspecies C. a. antarcticus is smaller and darker than C. a. maculirostris (2) (5) (6), with a faint red-tinged patch on the wing (2) (7). C. a. maculirostris is more smoky brown, but slightly darker on the underwing coverts, with a short, heavy black bill that has a noticeable pale to yellow area at the base of the lower mandible (2) (6) (8).
- Also known as
- tussac bird, tussock bird, tussockbird.
- Length: 19 - 20 cm (2)
BirdLife International - Blackish cinclodes:
Neotropical Birds Online - Blackish cinclodes:
UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum - The Falkland Islands:
- Small feathers concealing the bases of larger flight feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
- Pertaining to the intertidal zone, the region between the high tide mark and low tide mark.
- Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones), echinoderms, and others.
- In birds, the lower jaw and beak, but the term is also used to denote the two parts of the beak.
- Nominate subspecies
- The subspecies indicated by the repetition of the specific name. Thus, in this case the Cyclura nubila nubila is the nominate subspecies of the Cayman Islands ground iguana, Cyclura nubila.
- A group of more than 5,000 species of small to medium-sized birds which have widely varied plumage and shape. They all have three toes pointing forward and one directed backward which assists with perching, and are sometimes known as perching birds or song birds.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
- Ridgely, R.S., Tudor, G. and Brown, W.L. (1994) The Birds of South America: The Suboscine Passerines. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
Falkland Islands - Blackish cinclodes (March, 2011)
Falklands.net - Blackish cinclodes (March, 2011)
- Ridgely, R.S. and Tudor, G. (2009) Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
Schulenberg, T.S. (2010) Blackish Cinclodes (Cinclodes antarcticus). In: Neotropical Birds Online. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca. Available at:
- Chesser, R.T. (2004) Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of the South American ovenbird genus Cinclodes. The Auk, 121(3): 752-766.
- Chester, S.R. (2008) A Wildlife Guide to Chile. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
BirdLife International - Blackish cinclodes (March, 2011)
World Wildlife: Patagonian grasslands (March, 2011)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Blackish cinclodes biology
The blackish cinclodes is unusual in that it is one of very few passerine birds that are restricted to the coast (7). It feeds around the rocky intertidal zone, in shoreline seaweed and kelp mats (Macrocystis spp.) (5) (7). It also feeds among tussock-grass (Poa flabellata) in peaty soil near the sea (7). The blackish cinclodes forages primarily for insects and other small marine invertebrates (2) (5), and has also been known to take food from humans on the Falkland Islands (7).
Breeding begins around October, when one to three white eggs are laid in a small, cup-shaped nest of grass, which is typically placed in a burrow, an abandoned petrel nest, in a hole in a bank, in a rock crevice, or under dense vegetation (2) (3) (4). A second clutch is often laid by the blackish cinclodes between December and January (3) (4).Top
Blackish cinclodes range
The blackish cinclodes is found in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands (1) (5). The subspecies Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus is restricted to the Falkland Islands, where it is occurs mainly on predator-free islands (3) (4). Cinclodes antarcticus maculirostris is found in the extreme south of Chile and Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego (2) (5) (7).Top
Blackish cinclodes habitat
Generally found along rocky coasts and gravelly beaches (2) (5) (6), the blackish cinclodes regularly occurs where seals and sea lions haul out of the water and at colonies of nesting seabirds (2) (6) (7). It also occurs in grassy areas and occasionally near human settlements (6), up to elevations of 100 metres (7).Top
Blackish cinclodes status
The blackish cinclodes is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Blackish cinclodes threats
Although the blackish cinclodes is fairly common throughout its range, its population is suspected to be in decline due to predation by invasive species (1) (9). As such, this species is now restricted to islands and areas where introduced rats and cats are not present (1) (4) (6). Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland Islands have also been heavily affected by grazing livestock and introduced herbivores that have destroyed the natural tussock grass habitat in which the blackish cinclodes forages (10).Top
Blackish cinclodes conservation
There are currently no specific conservation measures targeted at the blackish cinclodes (1).Top
Find out more
Find out more about the blackish cinclodes and other birds:
Find out more about conservation on the Falklands Islands:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.