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Black antbird

Cercomacra serva

Photo by Anselmo d’Affonseca (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
black antbird (en); chororó-preto (pt); grisin noir (fr); hormiguero negro (es); südlicher trauerameisenfänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

This species is found from southern Colombia and eastern Ecuador, through eastern Peru and into north-western Bolivia and extreme western Brazil.

These birds are 13,5-14,5 cm long and weigh 15-17 g.

The black antbird is mostly found in the understorey of moist tropical forests and swamp forests, also using the vegetation surrounding freshwater lakes. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.350 m.

They often follow ant swarms, taking various insects and spiders that try to escape the ants.

Black antbirds breed nest in a pensile hanging cup made of dark fibres, dry leaves, sticks and fresh moss. The female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about 14 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the female and fledge 12-14 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range but is described as uncommon. Based on a model of Amazonian deforestation the black antbird is suspected to lose 9,5-10% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades. Given the susceptibility of the species to fragmentation and edge effects, it is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

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