Cryptic Treehunter Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti

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The history of Cryptic Treehunter is, if not cryptic, certainly one of confusion. Cryptic Treehunter is very similar to a sympatric species, Alagoas Foliage-gleaner (Philydor novaesi), but the treehunter is larger, with a heavier bill, and forages higher above the ground (primarily in the subcanopy or canopy, rather than in the understory, where the foliage-gleaner is more common). Both species are (or were) restricted to tiny remnant patches of humid forest in northeastern Brazil, a region that has suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the Neotropics. The foliage-gleaner was discovered in the 1970s, but almost 25 years past before it was recognized that a second species of ovenbird occurred at the same sites. Sadly, Alagoas Foliage-gleaner now is suspected to be extinct, and Cryptic Treehunter is critically endangered, unless it too already has disappeared.

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Recommended Citation

Cryptic Treehunter (Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/crytre1