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Grallaria ruficapilla

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Polytypic 7 Subspecies

Authors: Greeney, Harold F., and Guy M. Kirwan

Grallaria ruficapilla

Cabañas San Isidro, Ecuador; 3 December 2004 © Ian Davies

This strikingly plumaged antpitta is both easily identified and one of the most easily seen of an extremely wary and notoriously shy family of birds. Chestnut-crowned Antpitta ranges from northern Venezuela south to central Peru, and is subdivided into seven subspecies, which mainly differ in the details of their head patterns. It has a broad altitudinal range, from 1200 to 3600 m, and is found in all manner of forest types, but especially favors borders, clearings, second growth, patches of bamboo, and other disturbed habitats. Chestnut-crowned Antpitta’s song is easily imitated, and these bold, inquisitive birds will readily approach in response to human whistles. In some places, the birds will even become tame, feeding in car parks and other areas subject to much human activity. Being so widespread and relatively numerous, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta is one of the better known members of the Grallariidae.

Recommended Citation

Greeney, Harold F., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2013. Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial/Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:---
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern