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Grallaria watkinsi

Watkins's Antpitta

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., Harold F. Greeney, and Ryan S. Terrill

Grallaria watkinsi

north of Catacocha, Loja, Ecuador; 7 February 2011 © Håkan Sandin

Watkins's Antpitta is a shy resident of dry forest and secondary scrub, with a very restricted distribution in the lowlands of southwest Ecuador and northwest Peru. This species is reclusive, but can be very vocal and is heard more often than seen. Indeed the best way to locate a Watkins's Antpitta is to listen for the distinctive song, which consists of several short, hollow, whistled notes that descend in pitch, followed by a rising hollow whistle. This vocalization is quite dissimilar from the song of the otherwise similar Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla) of higher elevations, and generally less arid habitats; Watkins's Antpitta formerly was classified as a subspecies of Chestnut-crowned, but the differences between the two in vocalizations and in habitat preferences clearly indicate that Watkins's Antpitta merits recognition as a separate species. Within its restricted geographic range, Watkins's Antpitta can be surprisingly common in appropriate habitat, and, with luck, may be seen foraging for arthropods by pecking at the leaf litter on or near the ground in dense vegetation.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., Harold F. Greeney, and Ryan S. Terrill. 2013. Watkins's Antpitta (Grallaria watkinsi), 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:Tropical deciduous forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:Peck
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern