Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus

Harold F. Greeney, Jonathan L. Atwood, Susannah B. Lerman, and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 2.0 — Published July 16, 2020


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The Long-billed Gnatwren inhabits humid forests, forest borders, tropical deciduous forests, and tall, dense second growth. Regardless of the disturbance level of the forest, however, it spends most of its time in areas dominated by dense vegetation and vine tangles, such as in the vicinity of streams and tree-fall gaps inside mature forest (7, 17, 36, 16, 86, 219, 358). Eisenmann (250) even recorded a pair nesting in second-growth vegetation around a small stream used for agricultural irrigation. In Amazonia, the Long-billed Gnatwren can be found in most habitat types (e.g., terra firme, varzea, restinga, etc) (180, 318, 303, 359, 144, 150), but seems rare in white sand habitats (359).

Atwood and Lerman (47) listed the primary ecoregions occupied by each subspecies: rufiventris – Petén-Veracruz, Central American Atlantic, Isthmian-Atlantic and Isthmian-Pacific moist forests, and Central American dry forest; ardeleo – Yucatán moist forest; sanctaemarthae – Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub; griseodorsalis – Cauca Valley montane forest; trinitatis – Trinidad and Tobago moist forest and Cordillera Oriental montane forests; badius – Ucayali and Napo moist forests; amazonum – Purus, Iquitos and Monte Alegre varzeá, and Tapajós-Xingu moist forests; albiventris – Guianan moist forests; austerus – Tocantins/Pindare moist forests; and melanurus – Serra do Mar, Bahia, and Pernambuco coastal forests.

Generally, across its broad range, Long-billed Gnatwren is found at elevations below 1500, in most regions usually confined to under 1200 or 1000 m (360, 82, 151, 45, 4).

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F., J. L. Atwood, S. B. Lerman, and A. J. Spencer (2020). Long-billed Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus melanurus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, B. K. Keeney, and S. M. Billerman, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.lobgna5.02