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Sooty antbird

Myrmeciza fortis
Photo by Christopher Plummer (PBase)

Common name:
sooty antbird (en); formigueiro-de-taoca (pt); alapi fuligineux (fr); hormiguero tiznado (es); schwarzgrauer ameisenvogel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

This South American species is found east of the Andes in southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and north-western Brazil.

These birds are 16-20 cm long and weigh 45-50 g.

Sooty antbirds are found in rainforests and sometimes also in swamp forests. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They are obligate army ant followers, taking various invertebrates that are flushed by the activity of army ant swarms.

Sooty antbirds nest in a spherical chamber with an horizontal entrance tunnel, made of tightly woven plant materials and lined with plant fibres. This nest is concealed in leaf litter on the forest floor, often at the edge of frequently travelled trails. The female lays 2 creamy-white eggs with brown scrawls, which are incubated by both sexes for 14-18 days. The chicks fledge 9-10 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range, but is described as uncommon. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, so the sooty antbird is not considered threatened at present.

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