Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black Antshrike (Thamnophilus nigriceps)


French: Batara noir German: Schwarzameisenwürger Spanish: Batará negro

Thamnophilus nigriceps

P. L. Sclater

, 1869,

“Bogotá” trade skin; probably = vicinity of Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia


Sister to T. praecox (which see). Proposed race magdalenae (N Colombia) appears to represent end point of a cline. Monotypic.


E Panama (E Panamá Province, Darién) and N Colombia (N Chocó E to W La Guajira, and S in Magdalena Valley to Tolima).

Descriptive notes

16 cm; 23–24 g. Male is entirely black, except for dark grey flanks and white underwing-coverts and edges of flight-feathers below. Female has upperparts, wings and... read more


Loudsong a moderately long (e.g. 12 notes, 2·3 seconds), slightly accelerating, evenly... read more


Shrubby understorey and regenerating clearings of humid evergreen forest, less often lighter... read more

Food and feeding

Little recorded. Assumed to feed on insects and arthropods. Pairs or individuals forage in shrubby, viny thickets, mainly 1–2 m above... read more


Nothing known.


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Poorly known. Occurs in Los Katíos and Tayrona National Parks, in Colombia. Apparently locally fairly common, but the small geographic range of this... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Black Antshrike (Thamnophilus nigriceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).