Bicoloured antpitta -- 双色蚁鸫 (Grallaria rufocinerea)

Bicoloured antpitta
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Bicoloured antpitta fact file

Bicoloured antpitta description

GenusGrallaria (1)

A medium-sized bird from the central Andes, the threatened bicoloured antpitta is named for its bold orangey-brown and grey plumage. The head, throat and upperparts are orangey-brown, while the underparts are grey with white mottling on the belly. The iris is dark brown and the bill is black. Two subspecies are recognised; Grallaria rufocinerea romeroana has more extensive white on its belly than G.r. rufocinerea (2). More likely to be heard than seen, the bicoloured antpitta’s call is a long, clear, high whistled treeeee or a double treeeeaaaa ending in a low slur (3).

Length: 15.5 – 16 cm (2)
44.8 g (2)

Bicoloured antpitta biology

A rather terrestrial bird, the bicoloured antpitta hops or runs along the ground of its forest habitat. It is often difficult to see amongst the dense vegetation and is more likely to be heard, but it will sometimes emerge into a small open area or grassy clearing to feed in the morning and late afternoon (4). Usually found alone, the bicoloured antpitta feeds on insects and larvae (2) (4). It breeds from March to May (3), when two eggs are laid and incubated for14 to 16 days. The young chicks leave the nest at 9 to 12 days of age (4).


Bicoloured antpitta range

Occurs on the slopes of the central Andes of Colombia and Ecuador (3). G.r. rufocinerea’s distribution ranges from southern Antioquia, south to Huila, Colombia (2). G.f. romeroana occurs in Putumayo and Cauca, Colombia, and Sucumbíos, Ecuador (3).


Bicoloured antpitta habitat

The bicoloured antpitta inhabits the floor and understorey of humid, montane forest, generally from 2,400 to 3,150 metres above sea level (2).


Bicoloured antpitta status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Bicoloured antpitta threats

Populations of the bicoloured antpitta are believed to have declined greatly since the early 1900s (2). This has been the result of widespread deforestation for human settlement and agricultural expansion (2) (3). Its forest habitat continues to be impacted today, and its small Ecuadorian range faces total habitat loss within forthcoming decades. The bicoloured antpitta’s restricted range makes it particularly vulnerable to such threats (2).


Bicoloured antpitta conservation

The bicoloured antpitta occurs in several protected areas such as Puracé National Park, Navarco Reserve and Alto Quindio Acaime Natural Reserve, Colombia (2). The continued effective protection of these areas is essential for the conservation of this little-known South American bird (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on the bicoloured antpitta see:



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.


  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2003) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. BirdLife International (October, 2007)
  4. (October, 2007)

Image credit

Bicoloured antpitta  
Bicoloured antpitta

© Fundación ProAves /

Alonso Quevedo
Projects Coordinator
Threatened Parrots of Colombia
Central Andes
Blue-billed Curassow
Tel: +57 (1) 2455134


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