Grey-tailed Pihas

The Grey-tailed Pihas (Snowornis subalaris) – also known as Grey-tailed Cotingas – occur naturally in the moist montane forests of South America, where they have a patchy distribution and are generally uncommon to rare.

Distribution / Habitat

Grey-tailed Pihas are locally distributed on the eastern slopes of the Andes in north-west South America, where they occur naturally southern Colombia and Ecuador (where they are rare to uncommon) and Peru (where they were locally common in the 1980s).

In Peru, they are found in the regions of San Martín (northern Peru), Pasco (central Peru); and southern Madre de Dios (southeastern Peru.

These birds occur at elevations between 1,640 – 4,600 feet (500 – 1,400 meters) (del Hoyo et al. 2004) in humid and wet mossy forests.


The medium-sized Grey-tailed Pihas measure between 9 – 9.4 inches (23 – 24 cm), including their long and slender tails.

The plumage is olive green above with a grey rump and tail. Below they are a paler olive color, fading to grey on the abdomen.

Males can be identified by the black feathers on their crowns (top of the head).

Similar Species

Olivaceous Piha: plumage more uniform, without the contrasting grey abdomen and tail of the Grey-tailed Piha. When looking from below (perched or in flight), identification can be made by looking at the underside of the tail, which is grey in the Grey-tailed and olive-colored in the Olivaceous Piha. The Olivaceous Piha generally occurs at higher elevations than the Grey-tailed Piha.

Diet / Feeding

Their diet mostly consists of various fruits or insects.

Breeding / Nesting

Little is known of their nesting habits, but based on habits of related birds; it is assumed that they lay their eggs in flimsy open cup nests.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Sound Recordings

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ???? … Czech: Kotinga šedoocasá … Danish: Gråhalepiha … Dutch: Grijsstaartpiha … Finnish: Harmaapyrstökotinga … French: Cotinga à queue grise, Piauhau à queue grise … German: Grauschwanzpiha, Grauschwanz-Piha … Italian: Piha codagrigia … Japanese: haiomujikazaridori … Norwegian: Gråhalepiha … Polish: blawatowiec szarosterny, b?awatowiec szarosterny … Russian: ??????????? ????????????? ???? … Slovak: kotinga sivobruchá … Spanish: Guardabosque Coligrís, Guardabosques Coligrís, Minero de Cola Gris, Piha coligris … Swedish: Gråstjärtad piha

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