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Pygmy Antwren? - Peru (1 Viewer)

Alan Manson

KwaZulu-Natal birder
Opus Editor
A question for Opus: This photo is labelled Pygmy Antwren Myrmotherula brachyura; the photo was taken at Chino, Amazon River, Loreto, Peru.

The latest Clements update has:
Myrmotherula brachyura; Pygmy Antwren; E Colombia to the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil and n Bolivia
Myrmotherula ignota ignota; Moustached Antwren (previously Pygmy Antwren Myrmotherula brachyura ignota); E Panama to w Colombia and nw Ecuador
Myrmotherula ignota obscura; Moustached Antwren (previously Short-billed); S-cent. and e Colombia to ne Peru and w Amazonian Brazil

What is the ID of the bird in the photo?
 

Ecuadorrebel

Writer, Photographer, Guide
I would still id it as a Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyura). They are quite common in eastern Ecuador extending over to the Amazon River and into Peru. We don't have the Moustached Antwren so I can't account for any similarities. Hope this helps a little.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Steve, you actually should have Moustached Antwren (subspecies ignota) in NW Ecuador and likely obscura in the east; the last one might be listed as Short-billed Antwren in your book.

This paper describes the background for the rearrangements. Unfortunately, the differences between the two species in plumage are relative:

Males of ignota and obscura are similar to brachyura except mystacal streak is broader and more distinct, black postocular streak more prominent, and black of crown and upperparts more extensive. Male obscura differs from ignota in having fewer pale streaks and consequently more extensive black in the plumage, especially on upperparts.
Female ignota and obscura similar to brachyura except malar and postocular streaks are more prominent (as in male) and light portions of head, throat, and breast are darker: tawny brown in ignota, and buff in obscura (distinguishing these two taxa) rather than white or white tinged buff as in brachyura.

One important sentence in the above paper is that songs of both obscura and brachyura were recorded in the same area of eastern Peru, so the range statements in Clements seem to be off. We therefore have to look for illustrations to get this image right.

Niels
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I have now looked in Ridgely and Tudor's Songbirds of S America, and that makes me lean towards Pygmy Antwren and not Moustached; however, I have seen neither species in real life, so hopefully we will get more opinions from those that has.

Niels
 
This is Pygmy I reckon. It's a staggeringly good photograph of a diminutively small bird that moves fastand often.
Moustached has been sometimes separated and when it is, it's called Short-billed in Amazonia and Griscom's in the wet Pacific region between Panama snd northwest Ecuador.
This bird doesn't look like Moustached/Short-billed as much as Pygmy because it has a thin black malar streak.
That said, we normally separate these by song and habitat, which is dead easy. When I was first trying to get my head around Amazonian birds, my mentor and great friend, Oscar Tapuy, explained to me - well, if you didn't hear it, you haven't really seen anything.
 

Roy'N

Well-known member
I think Clements pygmy antwren distribution is right: E Colombia TO the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil and N Bolivia.
Between E Colombia and N Bolivia you have E Peru. Would've been different if it said

E Colombia, the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil and N Bolivia = only places mentioned by name.

E Colombia to the Guianas, and Amazonian Brazil and N Bolivia = E Colombia, the Guianas, Venezuela (because between E Colombia and Guianas), Amazonian Brazil and N Bolivia. The double use of 'and' in latter half of this sentence combined with the placement of the comma signifies a break and that 'to' only is valid for the part before the comma.

Other examples
Colombia to the Guianas and Costa Rica, and Bolivia = Colombia, Guianas, Costa Rica, Venezuela (between Colombia and Guianas), Panama (between Colombia and Costa Rica) and Bolivia.

Colombia to the Guianas, and Costa Rica and Bolivia = Colombia, Guianas, Venezuela (between Colombia and Guianas), Costa Rica and Bolivia.

Colombia to the Guianas and Costa Rica, and South Africa, Australia and Canada = Colombia, Guianas, Costa Rica, Venezuela (between Colombia and Guianas), Panama (between Colombia and Costa Rica), South Africa, Australia and Canada.

Because these sentences arguably have closely related independent clauses I have seen some lists use semicolons instead. Last example with semicolon
Colombia to the Guianas and Costa Rica; South Africa, Australia and Canada
or
Colombia to the Guianas and Costa Rica; South Africa; Australia; Canada

Many years have passed since I had English in high school and I never was an English grammar wizard. I think these examples are correct. At least when discounting the discussions about the use of serial comma. If someone more familiar with English grammar finds a mistake in the examples I would like to know about it.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Roy you may very well be right. I read it to mean Colombia to The Guianas and from there to N Bolivia through Amazonian Brazil (a path instead of mentioning of corners in a square).

Niels
 

Ecuadorrebel

Writer, Photographer, Guide
Steve, you actually should have Moustached Antwren (subspecies ignota) in NW Ecuador and likely obscura in the east; the last one might be listed as Short-billed Antwren in your book.


Niels

Thanks for the info Niels. I don't get into the Amazon Basin nearly as much as I am in the NW. I only have access to the Ridgely, I need to get some other references. I will make a note in my manual. Appreciate it.
 
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