Tawny Antpitta Grallaria quitensis Scientific name definitions

Harold F. Greeney and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 2.0 — Published September 1, 2023

About the Author(s)


HAROLD F. GREENEY – After graduating from Wake Forest University (BSc, 1993; Commission 2nd Lieutenant, US Army Reserves), Harold hopped a plane to Ecuador and disappeared for a year into the jungle. For a full year he worked as a jungle guide at a remote tourist lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon, using his spare time to study the life history and population ecology of butterflies. In 1994 he joined the graduate program in entomology at the University of Arizona, spending most of the next five years exploring tropical nature in Ecuador, concentrating his studies on the aquatic insects associated with bromeliads and other container habitats in the Amazon. During his trips back to the United States, Harold fulfilled his army obligations by serving as a Platoon Leader in the Army Reserves and leading convoy security teams during battlefield training of the 4th Infantry Division in southern California’s National Training Center. In 1999, armed with a Masters in entomology, binoculars, a butterfly net, and a notebook, Harold sold his worldly possessions and purchased a small piece of property in the cloud forests of eastern Ecuador. Subsisting on a modest garden, trout caught in the nearby river, and the chickens that came with the purchase, Harold lived in a semi-waterproof house with no electricity or running water and immersed himself in tropical biology. This bold move was the first step in pursuing his dream of creating a biological research station. A decade and a half later, as founder, owner, and director of research of the Yanayacu Biological Station and Center for Creative Studies, he had never once wavered in his quest, sharing his passion for art, creative writing, and science with numerous national and foreign students along the way. During this time he fell in love with the study of bird nests and the prolific publishing of his findings in scientific journals was recognized by the ornithological community through the prestigious Pamela & Alexander F. Skutch Award in 2005. His interest in insects, however, was undiminished and much of his time was also dedicated to publishing studies on caterpillars as part of a multi-national collaborative project funded by the National Science Foundation. In 2008, already with more than 100 peer-reviewed papers under his belt, Harold completed a PhD in ornithology through the University of Wroclaw. In 2013 he left his cloud forest home to begin a family closer to his US-based relatives. Then, in 2015, with the support of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, Harold began writing the Helm Field Guide to Antpittas and Gnateaters (8). Harold currently lives in Tucson, with his wife Lindsey Cohen and three children, Phoenix, River, and Tamia.

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. and A. J. Spencer (2023). Tawny Antpitta (Grallaria quitensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (N. D. Sly, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.