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Pittasoma michleri

Black-crowned Antpitta

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

Authors: O'Donnell, Patrick

Pittasoma michleri

Cana, Darién, Panama; 2 January 2009 © Markus Lagerqvist

Black-crowned Antpitta is a spectacular species of antpitta restricted to a narrow elevational belt in the Caribbean foothills from northeastern Costa Rica south to northwestern Colombia. Long considered an antpitta within the antbird family Formicariidae, genetic studies now indicate that the genus Pittasoma is closely aligned with gnateaters in the Conopaphagidae. Pittasoma antpittas are much larger than gnateaters; Black-crowned Antpitta is uniquely plumaged with a black crown and throat, and heavily black-and-white scalloped underparts. This antpitta usually is encountered as solitary individuals attending swarms of army ant, but sometimes is found as pairs in the forest understory. Its presence usually indicated by an explosive alarm call, whack-whack-whack-whack, of up to 10-12 notes. Black-crowned Antpitta is little known in Colombia, but regularly is seen in the adjacent Darien Province of Panama.

Recommended Citation

O'Donnell, Patrick. 2014. Black-crowned Antpitta (Pittasoma michleri), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Montane evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Small vertebrates and large arthropods
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cup
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern