Elegant Crescentchest Melanopareia elegans

Elegant Crescentchest male (subspecies elegans)

The Elegant Crescentchest is one of four species in the Melanopareidae of South America.  Traditionally placed with the tapaculos taxonomically, the crescentchests are now not thought to be closely allied with that group.  Elegant Crescentchest is quite a striking songbird, with a black head marked with a bold cream supercilium and cream throat set off from the orangey underparts by a bold black chest crescent; the upperparts are olive and the secondaries and wing covers have conspicuous rufous edging.  The species prefers low woodlands and second growth habitat, where it remains concealed in the undergrowth as it forages near the ground.  Happily, these visually inconspicuous birds are quite vocal, and can often be found by their song, a series of popping, clipped toop notes delivered at a rate of about 2-3 per second.

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© Krzysztof Zyskowski

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

. (). Elegant Crescentchest (Melanopareia elegans), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: