Short-tailed Antthrush Chamaeza campanisona

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Formicariidae
  • Polytypic: 12 subspecies
  • Authors: Harold F. Greeney

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Generally, the song of Short-tailed Antthrush is described as "a ventriloquial, trogon-like ser. of about 10 accelerating and rising woo notes followed by an abruptly slowing and falling series of woop notes" (Colombia; Hilty and Brown 1986); as "a long series of Otus [=Megascops]-like whistles near 1.0 kHz, which end in a few low grunts" (Brazil; Willis 1992); as a "beautiful two-parted song [that is] a series of hollow musical cow notes that start slowly but quickly accelerate and become louder, then abruptly shift into [a] descending series of 4-6 lower-pitched wo or wop notes that gradually become weaker and fade away" (Ecuador; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b); and as "a moderate-paced, slightly accelerating, rising series of hollow, hooted whistles that abruptly become a descending, decelerating series of descending popping notes: pup u-pu-pu-pu'PU'PU'PUPUPU'WAH-wah-wah-wah" (northern Peru; Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010).

In more detail, the song of Short-tailed Antthrush (subspecies venezuelana, punctigula) is described as "a 4-7 s long series of 10-25, at first accelerating, hollow, c.1 kHz whistled notes at steadily rising volume, followed abruptly by a 3-4 s long series of 5-11 whoop notes at falling pitch (to c.0.6 kHz) and volume" (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003).

For a representative audio recording with sonogram, see audio

There is some geographic variation in the song of Short-tailed Antthrush across its wide range. The song of obscura, of the tepuis of southeastern Venezuela, is similar, but is "decidedly faster, [especially the] 1st half, and with more notes, the whole [series] tenging to roll or slide along more rapidly" (Hilty 2003). The song of boliviana of northern Bolivia also is much faster, with ca 50 notes in the first part of the song (at a pace of p to 9 notes/s), and terminating with 15-20 whoop notes (Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003). The song of nominate campanisona of eastern Brazil is relatively fast, but often ends with fewer terminal notes, sometimes only 2-4 whoops (Willis 1992, Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003).

Descriptions of calls of Short-tailed Antthrush include "a sharp quock" (Hilty and Brown 1986) or "a sharp quoak" (Hilty 2003); "a liquid, rising quork note, sometimes given in a series, particularly in flight" (Lane, in Schulenberg et al. 2010); anda "mellifluous ku-it" (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001b).

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Short-tailed Antthrush can be heard at Macaulay Library, at xeno-canto, and at Internet Bird Collection.

Nonvocal Sounds

None described.

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2013). Short-tailed Antthrush (Chamaeza campanisona), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.