Pale, in Irish history, that district of indefinite and varying limits around Dublin, in which English law prevailed. The term was first used in the 14th cent. to designate what had previously been called English land. Outlying districts were styled the marches, or border lands. In the time of Henry VIII the Pale extended N from Dublin to Dundalk and c.20 mi (32 km) inland from the coast. It disappeared in the ensuing years as the English control of the whole of Ireland was made effective. There was another English Pale in France, comprising Calais and the surrounding area, until 1558. In Russia the Pale designated those regions in which Jews were allowed to live. The Jewish Pale was established in 1792, when it comprised the areas annexed from Poland in the first partition. The area was extended (partly as a result of further annexations), but even within the Pale the Jewish population was subjected to many restrictions. Most of these were in force until the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The Pale-breasted Spinetail (Synallaxis albescens), is a passerine bird which breeds in the tropical New World from Costa Rica to central Argentina, and in Trinidad. It is a member of the South American bird family Furnariidae, a group in which many species build elaborate clay nests, giving rise to the English name for the family of "ovenbirds".

However, the Pale-breasted Spinetail constructs a spherical stick nest with a 30 cm long tubular entrance low in a bush, into which its two greenish white eggs are laid. This species is a widespread and common resident breeder in a range of grassy and scrub habitats.

The Pale-breasted Spinetail is typically 16.5 cm long, and weighs 15 g. It is a slender bird with a medium long tail. The upperparts plumage is mainly pale brown, with darker wings and tail and rufous crown and shoulder patches. The throat and underparts are whitish with browner flanks.

Sexes are similar, but the race josephinae has grey on the forecrown, face sides and chest.

The Pale-breasted Spinetail is an insectivore which is difficult to see as it forages deep in thickets, but may be located by its buzzy repetitive wait'here song.


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Comstock Publishing.
  • Hilty, Steven L Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm.
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