Tawny Antpitta Grallaria quitensis

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Harold F. Greeney

Among a family of notoriously skulking species, Tawny Antpitta is the veritable "exception that proves the rule"! This dull plumaged species is found in the high Andes from northern Colombia to northern Peru, where it is fairly common in elfin forest and adjacent páramos at elevations above 2200 m, generally above 2800 m. Its song is easily imitated, and adults may sing from a perch that is partially or even wholly exposed, making them an easy target for birdwatchers. Tawny Antpittas also frequently are seen hopping on the ground, boldly well away from the cover of trees. or shrubs. Principally brown above, the ocular region and lores are pale, and the underparts are bright tawny flecked whitish. The three recognized subspecies are perhaps sufficiently different in plumage and vocalizations to be better regarded as separate species, but further research is required to prove or disprove this possibility. The nesting biology has been studied to some degree but, given the ease with which this species can be found and studied, it is surprising that Tawny Antpitta is not among the best studied members of the genus.


© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2015). Tawny Antpitta (Grallaria quitensis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.