Ornithological Note 70

Notes on the vocalizations of Variegated Antpitta (Grallaria varia)

Peter F. D. Boesman April 20, 2016
Section(s): Voice, Systematics

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of the different races of Variegated Antpitta (Grallaria varia). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC).

Song of all races is very similar. There are two groups with clearly disjunct ranges, for which we have measured some basic sound parameters:

Group 1: Guianan/Amazonian group (n=7)

length                                    2.6-4.4s

start freq.                             420-470Hz

max. freq.                             470-530Hz

end freq.                              470-510Hz

max note length                  0.26-0.5s

# notes                                  10-14

fade-out?                              yes or no

Group 2: SE Brazilian group (n=8)

length                                    3.3-3.7s

start freq.                             415-490Hz

max. freq.                             520-570Hz

end freq.                              460-550Hz

max note length                  0.22-0.45s

# notes                                  13-17

fade-out?                              mostly yes, some no



The main difference seems to be the number of notes, which overlaps only slightly (score 1-2). SE Brazilian birds also tend to reach higher frequencies (score 1). Total score 2-3.

All in all, vocal difference between these 2 groups seems to be minor.

This note was finalized on 15th June 2015, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular all the sound recordists who placed their recordings for this species on XC.



Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More Information: on70_variegated_antpitta.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of Variegated Antpitta (Grallaria varia). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 70. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100070