Ornithological Note 74

Notes on the vocalizations of Thrush-like Antpitta (Myrmothera campanisona)

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 Thrush-like Antpitta (Myrmothera campanisona). 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 structurally similar, but subcanescens clearly differs in a number of features (Fig. 1). We have therefore taken some measurements of the basic sound parameters to compare subcanescens with the other races treated as a single group:

subcanescens (n=7)

max. note length                 0.17-0.25s

max. mid freq.                     1080-1220Hz

end freq.                              1080-1220Hz

freq. change                        +60 to +140Hz

last note length                   0.16-0.25s

# notes                                  5-9

highest amplitude               last or last but one note


others (n=12)

max. note length                 0.18-0.28s

max. mid freq.                     750-950Hz

end freq.                              750-920Hz

freq. change                        -90 to +30Hz

last note length                   0.15-0.24s

# notes                                  6-10

highest amplitude               fourth, third or second last note


Song of subcanescens is clearly higher-pitched (score 3) and rises towards the end (score 2). Furthermore, the max. amplitude is reached on the last or last but one note (score 1-2). Also the last note of the song does not become shorter, which is often the case in other races.

From the other races, dissors seems to have the highest pitch (XC163576 is probably not modesta but also dissors), but still clearly lower than subcanescens, and lacking the other features of subcanescens.

Total score for vocal difference between subcanescens and other races is thus 4-5.

This note was finalized on 15th June 2015, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the many 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: on74_thrush-like_antpitta.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of Thrush-like Antpitta (Myrmothera campanisona). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 74. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100074