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Jocotoco Antpitta Grallaria ridgelyi

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Grallariidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Harold F. Greeney


The nest of Jocotoco Antpitta only recently has been described (Greeney and Juiña 2010) from the type locality in southeastern Ecuador. The nest was 3.6 m above the ground on the side of rotting tree trunk (4.1 m tall; 56 cm diameter at breast height). It was built flush against the trunk and supported primarily by a dense tuft of Tillansia sp. bromeliads and also by a 4-cm diameter, horizontal branch crossing under the nest. The nest was a deep, open cup comprised predominantly of dead and decaying plant materials (dicot and bromeliad leaves). The inner portion of the cup was lined with a thick layer of fine black rootlets and flexible brown fern stems. Measured at perpendicular angles, the internal width of the cup was 15.5 x 14.0 cm. The cup was significantly deeper in the front (17 cm) and only 12.5 cm deep at the back. Externally, the nest was 23.5 x 26 cm in diameter and 18 cm tall. The area around the nest had a dense understory of Chusquea bamboo. Canopy height was ca 20 m and, along with surrounding bamboo shoots and epiphytes on the substrate, provided nearly 90% shading of the nest. The nest was built on the northeast side of the trunk on a northeast facing slope where it received most of its sun in the mornings.

On 8 November 2008, the nest contained a single, older nestling (see below) which fledged seven days later. Greeney and Juiña (2010) videotaped the nest on several occasions prior to fledging, revealing that both adults provisioned the nestling. The nestling was brooded only 7% of the observation period, they were unable to determine if both adults participated. The mean (± SD) duration of feeding visits was 2.2 ± 7.5 minutes, during which adults frequently probed sharply or rapidly into the nest lining, which is presumed to be a means of parasite removal as in other antpittas (Greeney et al. 2008). The nestling was provisioned at a rate of 1.96 feedings/hr. Close to the day of fledging, the nestling often followed the adults to the rim of the nest as departed.

Newly hatched nestlings of Jocotoco Antpittas have not been formally described, but the day-of-hatch nestling photographed in Greeney (2012b) clearly shows that they are born with orange-pinkish skin and legs, an orange bill (including the rictal flanges) with a bright white egg-tooth, and dense tufts of blackish down on the back. Greeney and Juiña (2010) describe an older nestling, 3 days prior to fledging, as cinnamon-brown on the back, chestnut on the crown and upper breast, with all of these areas being finely barred with black. Most of the ocular area was still bare, with only a hint of the white facial pattern of adults. The upper mandible was dark blackish with a pale orange tip while the lower mandible was mostly dull orange. The rictal flanges were slightly brighter orange. At this age the nestling retained only a few sparse whisps of its original natal down, mostly on the head and lower back.

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2013). Jocotoco Antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.