Neotropical Birds
Version  1.0
This is a historic version of this account.   Current version

Bay Antpitta Grallaria capitalis

Thomas S. Schulenberg and Guy M. Kirwan
Version: 1.0 — Published March 16, 2012


Distinguishing Characteristics

Antpittas (Grallaria) have a distinctive morphology: they are plump-bodied, with short tails and notably long tarsi. The Bay Antpitta is a medium sized antpitta with a very simple plumage pattern: it is almost uniformly deep rufous-chestnut, with a more or less blackish crown and a blue-gray bill.

Similar Species

The Bay Antpitta overlaps geographically with the distributions of two similar species, Chestnut (Grallaria blakei) and Rufous (Grallaria rufula) antpittas. There is broad elevational overlap between Bay and Chestnut antpittas, but only very limited elevational overlap with Rufous Antpitta (which generally occurs at higher elevations than Bay). Both Chestnut and Rufous antpittas are significantly smaller than is Bay Antpitta. Bay Antpitta also has a blue-gray bill, blackish crown, and a white, unbarred belly; Chestnut and Rufous antpittas have black bills, lack black on the crown, and have brown or buffy bellies. Bay Antpitta also usually is redder (less brown) overall than Chestnut; in contrast, all of the populations of Rufous Antpitta that overlap with Bay Antpitta are a much paler, tawnier brown.

Detailed Description

Adult: Sexes similar. Crown dusky brown or dark russet brown. Back, rump, wings and tail rufous chestnut. Lores rufous or blackish. Underparts rufous, darker on the breast and paler on the belly; center of belly whitish buff. Crissum rufous.

This description is based on specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.


Bare Parts

Iris: dark brown

Bill: blue-gray, culmen blackisn

Tarsi and toes: blue-gray

Bare parts color data from Krabbe and Schulenberg (2003) and from specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science.


Total length: 16 cm (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990), 16–17 cm (Schulenberg et al. 2007), 17 cm (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, 2009)

Mass: male, mean 72.4 g (range 65-77 g, n = 5; data from specimens in the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science); female, 72 g (n = 1; Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003).

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and G. M. Kirwan (2012). Bay Antpitta (Grallaria capitalis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bayant1.01
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