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Editor's Note: This is a shorter format account, originally published in HBW Alive. Please consider contributing your expertise to update and expand this account.
The Black-and-white Becard is a reasonably widespread member of the genus, being distributed through much of the tropical Andes from Peru to Venezuela, then through the latter country’s north coastal ranges, as well as in Panama and Costa Rica. It is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the Black-capped Becard (Pachyramphus marginatus), a principally Amazonian species with which the present species exhibits little or no geographical overlap, and compared to which the Black-and-white Becard is distinguished most readily by the gray (not black) back of males, and the black border to the rufous crown in females. Like most other becards, this species is not especially habitat restrictive, being able to persist in most forest types at mid elevations in the Andes and other ranges.
13–14·5 cm; 18·5–26 g. Male has glossy black crown with slight bluish sheen, contrasting sharply with almost uniformly plain grey upperparts, pale grey line on nape (sometimes lacking); side of head grey, lores blackish, broad white supraloral stripes connecting narrowly on lower forehead, narrow white broken eyering on pale dusky grey face; wings blackish, broad white margins on secondaries and wing-coverts (one or two wingbars); tail blackish, more dark grey at base, quite broad white tips on rectrices; pale grey below, throat and breast more greyish-white, especially at sides, and belly and vent more whitish; iris dark; bill blue-grey with black tip (variable); legs blue-grey. Distinguished from P. polychopterus by white supraloral stripe, grey back with contrasting black cap, lack of white scapulars. Female has prominent chestnut-brown or dull rufous crown with marked broad black margin, white supraloral spots that extend back to form broken eyering, black stripe through eye to hindcrown, pale dusky yellowish-olive face, olive-yellow or pale olive nuchal collar (sometimes lacking), more or less dark olive-green or dusky olive upperparts, olive rump sometimes with faint rufous tinge; wings blackish, broad pale buff or brighter cinnamon margins on secondaries and wing-coverts, very narrow cinnamon edging on leading edge of primaries; tail dusky cinnamon-brown above, darker below, broad cinnamon or buff tips; throat dusky yellow or whitish, breast and sides dusky yellow or pale yellowish-olive, belly and vent pale yellow, sometimes with dusky tinge. Juvenile is similar to female but duller overall, sooty-black edging on crown feathers, less distinct supraloral stripe, more greyish cheeks, no nuchal collar, less distinct cinnamon-buff wing margins. Race guayaquilensis is smaller, with very slightly more grey in tail of male; salvini male may have whiter belly and vent, female has back somewhat duller, more greyish-olive; ornatus has dull pinkish lower mandible; coronatus similar to nominate.
Editor's Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.See P. marginatus; molecular data (1) indicate that present species is closest to P. polychopterus. Racial identity of birds in NW Ecuador uncertain, as both guayaquilensis and salvini seem to occur there; some revision of races probably necessary. Five subspecies currently recognized.
Pachyramphus albogriseus ornatus Scientific name definitions
Pachyramphus albogriseus guayaquilensis Scientific name definitions
Pachyramphus albogriseus coronatus Scientific name definitions
Pachyramphus albogriseus albogriseus Scientific name definitions
Pachyramphus albogriseus salvini Scientific name definitions
Editor's Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the 'Subspecies' article above. In the future we will develop a range-wide distribution article.