The Bertoni's Antbird is so similar in appearance to the Ferruginous Antbird (Drymophila ferruginea) that it was not even recognized as a distinct species until the late 1980s. Although the distribution of Bertoni's is more southern, and more montane, than the distribution of Ferruginous, these two species locally are sympatric. These two antwrens are much more easily distinguished by voice than by plumage: the song of Bertoni's is a series of raspy notes, very different from the two note song of Ferruginous. Pairs and family groups, which sometimes join mixed species flocks, feed on insects usually by perch-gleaning. Bertoni's Antbirds forage in the understory in dense thickets, often in bamboo.