Barred antshrike

Barred antshrike
Thamnophilus doliatus
Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

This American species is found from Tamaulipas, Mexico, through Central America and Trinidad and Tobago, and a large part of South America east of the Andes as far south as northern Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Barred shrikes are 15-18 cm long and weigh 24-32 g.

These birds are usually found near the ground in dense undergrowth and in a variety of other habitats such as forest edge, closed non-deciduous forest, dry scrub, gardens, deciduous woodland and second-growth forests, second-growth thickets, and scrubs.

The barred antshrike is largely a leaf insectivore, taking a large variety of insects and other invertebrates including mantids, phasmatids, Gastropoda, Araneae, Ixodidae, Diplopoda, Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Homoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and Isoptera. They are also known to eat small lizards, fruits and small seeds.


The breeding season of the barred antshrike varies by geographic area, generally taking place in January-September. The nests is a small, deep, open cup with thin walls that is commonly found in densely tangled areas 0,5-3 m above the ground in the forks of two branches. It is built using fine black and brown fibers, tendrils, vines and vegetable fibers, flowering grasses, rootlets and fine grasses. The female lays 2-3 white eggs with brown and purple markings which are incubated by both parents for 11-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10-12 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population of 5-50 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction through deforestation, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

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