Gray Antbird Cercomacra cinerascens

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Thamnophilidae
  • Polytypic: 4 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Tomaz Melo

The Gray Antbird has the quintessential name for a member of the Formicariidae. It is a member of the genus Cercomacra that is restricted to the canopy of terra firme forest throughout Amazonia. It typically remains hidden in vine tangles just below the canopy, and thus, is very difficult to see. Males are all gray, with light fringing on the wing coverts, and white tips to the outer tail feathers forming tail spots from underneath. Females are similarly patterned, but dull brown in coloration. Members of the genus Cercomacra fall into two categories; ones that inhabit the canopy, and those that are found in dense habitats near the ground. Gray Antbird is clearly a canopy species. It is much more often heard. The song consists of two notes repeated, with one note clear, and the other note burry: “oook-grrrrr-oook-grrrrr-oook.” All other species of Cercomacra antbirds within the overall range of Gray Antbird inhabit lower areas and different habitats. For example, both Black Antbird (Cercomacra serva) and Blackish Antbird (Cercomacra nigrescens) overlap with the range of Gray Antbird in western Amazonia, but both species are found in dense secondary habitats in the understory. Male Manu Antbird (Cercomacra manu) of southeastern Peru looks and sounds somewhat similar to Gray Antbird male, but it is restricted to dense stands of Guadua bamboo.

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Song from male

© Paul A. Schwartz

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

Recommended Citation

Gray Antbird (Cercomacra cinerascens), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: