Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Black-faced antthrush

Formicarius analis

Common name:
black-faced antthrush (en); tauoca (pt); tétéma coq-de-bois (fr); formicario enmascarado (es); graubrust-ameisendrossel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Formicariidae

This species is found in the neotropics from southern Mexico, through Central America to the northern regions of South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Brazil, and nearly in all of the Amazon Basin with the exception of the north-westernmost regions.

The black-faced antthrush is 17-19 cm long and weighs 59 g.

They are found in moist tropical and subtropical forests, at low and middle altitudes. More often in the forest interior than in the edges, always near the ground.

The black-faced antthrush is mostly an insectivore, taking insects, spiders and other invertebrates from the foliage on the forest floor. They will often follow columns of army ants in order to take their prey and may occasionally capture small snakes, toads, and lizards.

These birds breed in February-May. They build a leaf-lined nest on a cavity in a hollow branch or stump. The nest is a mat of flowery material placed on a bottom of dead leaves with the entrance less than 4 m above the ground. The female lays 2 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 19-20 days. The chicks fledge 18-19 days after hatching. Each pair may raise up to 3 broods in a season.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
The black-faced antthrush has a very large breeding range a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, so the species is not threatened at present.

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