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Myrmeciza melanoceps

White-shouldered Antbird

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae


Myrmeciza melanoceps

Lumbaqui, Sucumbíos, Ecuador; 12 February 2012 © Roger Ahlman

While males are largely black, other than the small, eponymous white shoulder patch, and a patch of bare blue skin around the eyes, females are strikingly plumaged, largely cinnamon-tawny birds, with a contrasting black hood, and the same bare blue ocular skin. This is a relatively large-bodied antbird which inhabits the understory of seasonally flooded forests in upper Amazonia, from southeast Colombia through eastern Ecuador to east-central Peru, and east to western Brazil, always being found below 600 m. The White-shouldered Antbird’s behavior is still relatively little known, although it is usually found in pairs, or alone, and only occasionally with mixed-species flocks; it generally keeps very low above the ground, and often keeps to dense vine tangles. The species is generally fairly common over much of its range, and much of its distribution seems relatively secure, at least for now, from direct, anthropogenic habitat change.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. White-shouldered Antbird (Myrmeciza melanoceps), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map provided by Robert S. Ridgely.

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