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Grallaria alleni

Moustached Antpitta

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan

Grallaria alleni

Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador; 8 April 2011 © Jean Paul Perret

Named in honor of Arthur Augustus Allen, an American ornithologist and inspiring teacher at Cornell University, the Moustached Antpitta is a rare and little-known antpitta of the tropical Andes. Currently listed as Vulnerable by BirdLife International, this is a medium to large antpitta with a broad white malar stripe, slate-gray crown and nape, a russet-colored throat bordered by a white chest-band, and cinnamon-washed flanks and undertail coverts. It is known locally from the west slope of the Central Andes in Colombia and from both Andean slopes in northern Ecuador; two subspecies have been described. Recent surveys in Ecuador have found the species to be mostly concentrated on the western slopes of Pichincha province, and the paucity of earlier records is related to the lack of knowledge of its vocalisations. The Moustached Antpitta occurs in wet, mossy cloud forest. Recorded food items include earthworms and katydids; indeed, this is one of several species of antpitta that recently has been "domesticated" at a site in northwest Ecuador, where wild birds are fed by hand, to the delight of visiting birdwatchers.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Guy M. Kirwan. 2012. Moustached Antpitta (Grallaria alleni), 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
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:Undescribed
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:---
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Vulnerable