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Rufous-crowned Antpitta - BirdForum Opus

Adult male
Photo by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Playa de Oro, Esmeraldas, Ecuador, August 2011
Pittasoma rufopileatum


16 - 17.5cm. A variable antpitta.

  • Rufous crown
  • Broad black band from lores to nape
  • Buff to deep ochraceous rest of head, sparsely dotted with black
  • Olive-brown upperparts with broad black streaks on back
  • Browner wings and tail
  • Whitish dots on wing-coverts and tertials
  • Black and white barred underparts, olive-brown flanks
  • Brown eye
  • Black bill
  • rosenbergi is smaller, has richer rufous cheeks and throat and unmarked dull buffy underparts
  • harterti has a rufous face and variably spotted or barred underparts

Females have a white speckled black superciliary band. Juveniles are not yet described.


Found in South America on the Pacific slopes of the Andes from Colombia south to Ecuador.
Rare to uncommon restricted-range species.



There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • P. r. rosenbergi:
  • West Andes of Colombia and Baudo Mountains (south to Choco)
  • P. r. harterti:
  • Lowlands and foothills of Colombia (Cauca and western Narino)
  • P. r. rufopileatum:
  • Pacific lowlands of north-western Ecuador

harterti may be a synonym of the nominate subspecies. Both are geographically very close and the plumages variable.


Ground of humid lowland forests. Occurs from lowlands up to 1100m.


Diet not documented. Forages singly or in pairs on the forest floor, hopping and rapidly bounding, then pausing and resting motionless for long periods. Follows army-ant swarms. A bird in breeding conditions was collected in February in Colombia. No other information about breeding. Probably a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334504
  3. Avibase

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