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Version 1.0

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Rufous-faced Antpitta Grallaria erythrotis

Harold F. Greeney
Version: 1.0 — Published August 30, 2013


Distinguishing Characteristics

Rufous-faced Antpitta, like other species of Grallaria, has an erect posture, long tarsi, and a very short tail, which gives them the distinctive antpitta silhouette. They are among the more plain plumaged species of Grallaria, with both sexes having dark olivaceous gray to olivaceous brown upperparts and tail. The lores, face, and side of the neck are orange rufous. Below, the throat and belly are white, with the breast orange rufous with faint white streaking.

Similar Species

Within its small range, Rufous-faced Antpitta is unlikely to be confused except with White-throated Antpitta (Grallaria albigula), which occurs at lower elevations (Ridgely and Tudor 1994). The more strongly patterned White-throated Antpitta differs by having the entire head (including crown) bright rufous. Though it shares a bright white throat with Rufous-faced Antpitta, White-throated Antpitta further differs by its duller, grayer belly.

Detailed Description

The plumage of Rufous-faced Antpitta is rather uncomplicated. With the exception of very faint white streaking on the orange ochraceous breast, the adult plumage is unstreaked. The crown, nape, back, wings, and tail are dull, dull ochraceous gray or ochraceous brown, with the face (including lores), auriculars, and sides of the neck a contrasting, bright orange ochraceous. This facial pattern connects with a distinct, somewhat narrow band across the upper breast, which contrasts strongly with the bright white throat. The lower breast and belly are bright white, becoming dull, pale ochraceous gray on the flanks and crissum.

Rufous-faced Antpitta first was described in Latin (Sclater and Salvin (876):
"Supra obscure olivacea, cinereo tincta: subtus valde dilutior et rufescente lavata, ventre medio paene albo: regione auriculari vivide rufa, fronte et superciliis hoc colore tinctis: rostro nigro, ad apicem albicante, pedibus clare corylinis."


No specific information

Bare Parts

Iris: dark brown

Bill: black with paler, horn-colored tip

Tarsi and toes: gray or pinkish-gray

Bare parts color data from Remsen et al. (1982).


Total length: 15.2 (Sclater and Salvin 1876), 18.5 cm (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Krabbe and Schulenberg 2003), 19 cm (Meyer de Schauensee 1970)

Linear measurements (from Sclater and Salvin 1876; n = 1?):

wing length, 89 mm

tail length, 51 mm

tarsus length, 51 mm

Mass: mean 61.2 g (range 56-66 g, n = 7: 5 males, 1 female, 1 sex undetermined; Remsen et al. 1982); 1 male 53 g, 1 female 61 g (Remsen 1985)

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2013). Rufous-faced Antpitta (Grallaria erythrotis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.rufant2.01