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Rufous-backed Antwren Epinecrophylla haematonota


Rufous-backed Antren is a typical species of Epinecrophylla: it is a dead leaf specialist, meaning that it forages by searching for insects in curled dead leaves that are trapped in foliage in the understory of humid lowland forest, and often draws attention by virtue of its acrobatic foraging behavior. This antwren typically accompanies mixed species flocks, and is fairly common. Rufous-backed Antwren is a member of the Epinecrophylla haematonota complex, all of which formerly were included in a single broad species, "Stipple-throated Antwren". The males of all members of this group have black and white spots, or stippling, on the throat. Rufous-backed Antwren is not the only species in this group with a rufous back: this is a pattern shown by most of these species. Rufous-backed Antwren occurs in west central Amazonia, in eastern Peru and western Brazil. To the northwest, its range is bordered by Brown-backed Antwren (Epinecrophylla fjeldsaai), males of which can be distinguished by the color of the upperparts. To the south and east, Rufous-backed Antwren is replaced by the very similar Madeira Antwren (Epinecrophylla amazonica). These two species are very similar in appearance, but their songs are recognizably different.

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© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Rufous-backed Antwren (Epinecrophylla haematonota), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: