Higher classification Sclerurus
Scientific name Sclerurus guatemalensis
|Similar Tawny‑throated leaftosser, Slaty spinetail, Guttulate foliage‑gleaner, Short‑billed leaftosser, Slaty‑winged foliage‑gleaner|
Scaly throated leaftosser
The scaly-throated leaftosser (Sclerurus guatemalensis) is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
The scaly-throated leaftosser is a medium-sized bird about 17 cm (6.7 in) in length with a long beak and short tail. It is similar to the tawny-throated leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus) in having deep brown upper parts, a tawny breast and dark brown underparts. It differs in not having a rufous rump, and in having a whitish throat, each feather on throat and breast having a black margin, which gives the bird the appearance of being scaled. The call is a harsh, shrill "Schreeek" and the song a descending series of clear whistling-notes.
This species is native to Central America where it occurs on both the Pacific and Atlantic slopes. Its range extends from southern Mexico to northern Colombia and it inhabits lowland humid forests as well as forested foothills.
Leaftossers are inconspicuous birds that move about the forest floor probing the leaf-litter with their beaks. They are difficult to observe, but may be recognised by the calls they emit, particularly at dawn and dusk. They usually forage alone, but sometimes do so in pairs, hopping rather than walking. As they search for small invertebrates among dead leaves, they flick the leaves noisily aside. They nest in holes in earth banks or among the exposed roots of fallen trees.
S. guatemalensis has a very wide range but, although it is common in places, it is mostly an uncommon species. Partners in Flight have estimated that there are probably fewer than 50,000 individuals in total, and that the population is declining. However the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the bird's conservation status as being of "least concern" as it considers the rate of decline is insufficient to warrant putting the bird in a more-threatened category.