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Giant Antpitta - BirdForum Opus

Photo by steveblain
Near Mindo, Ecuador, December 2005
Grallaria gigantea


As the name implies, this is the largest antipitta in Ecuador at 24cm (9.5") in height.
Overall dark coloration; brown on the back, and rufous with dark fine banding on the front. Very short, almost absent tail.
Heavy dark bill and large eye.


Low to medium elevations on both slopes of the Andes in Ecuador. Sightings are rare except in cases where they've been lured and trained to appear for food, the most famous of which is the Paz de las Aves Private Reserve, near Mindo, Ecuador.


Three subspecies are recognized:

  • G. g. lehmanni:
  • Andes of south-western Colombia (head of Magdalena Valley)
  • G. g. hylodroma:
  • South-western Colombia (Nariño) and Western slope of Andes of Ecuador
  • G. g. gigantea:
  • Eastern slope of Andes of Ecuador (Carchi and Napo south to Tungurahua)


Humid forest floor.


Hops across the forest floor in bursts, then stands erect.


Probes the forest floor for food, primarily earthworms.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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