Giant Antpitta Grallaria gigantea

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Harold F. Greeney
Sections
  • © Ian Billenness

The aptly-named Giant Antpitta is a huge antpitta, rare and seldom seen until recently. It is found largely in Ecuador, but also occurs in southernmost Colombia. It is replaced farther north in the Andes of Venezuela by Great Antpitta (Grallaria excelsa). Recently this awesome antpitta became much easier to see in a spot close to Quito, Ecuador where an entrepreneurial local man (Angel Paz) habituated a pair of these antpittas to take worms from him, luring them out into the trail so that birders could see the bird. Paz was immensely successful in his efforts, and the birds, particularly "Maria", the female, have become well known characters on the bird touring circuit. Paz has been able to move from berry farming to ecotourism, and his methodology is being copied throughout Ecuador with great results. Giant Antpitta is a relatively quiet species, singing for only a short season. It is found on both the East and West slopes of the Andes, at elevations between 1200 and 3000 m. It is among the largest antpittas, most similar to Undulated Antpitta (Grallaria squamigera), but with bright rufous in the forecrown and finely-barred, distinctly richer rufous underparts.  The breeding biology of Giant Antpitta is largely unknown, with the first nest being described only in 2009.

Song

© Scott Olmstead

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

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2015). Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gigantea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.giaant1.01