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Pittasoma michleri

Black-crowned Antpitta

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Conopophagidae

Authors: O'Donnell, Patrick

Pittasoma michleri

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

The Black-crowned Antpitta is a spectacular species of antpitta restricted to a narrow elevational belt in the Caribbean foothills from central Costa Rica south to northwestern Colombia. Long considered an antpitta within the antbird family Formicariidae, but recent genetic studies indicate the genus Pittasoma is closely aligned with the gnateaters in the Conopaphagidae. It is much larger than the gnateaters, and uniquely plumaged with a black crown and throat, and heavily black-and-white scalloped underparts. Usually found as single individuals attending army ant swarms, but sometimes 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. Little known in Colombia, but regularly seen in the nearby Darien Province of Panama.

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Recommended Citation

O'Donnell, Patrick. 2010. 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