Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-crested Antshrike (Sakesphorus canadensis)


French: Batara huppé German: Schwarzgesicht-Ameisenwürger Spanish: Batará crestinegro

Lanius canadensis


, 1766,

Canada; error = Cayenne, French Guiana


Hitherto treated as conspecific with S. pulchellus (which see). Differences among some/all races may be clinal, and individual plumage variation within each is substantial; distributional limits therefore unclear. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. intermedius (Cherrie, 1916) – E Colombia (Arauca S to Vichada and Meta), Venezuela N of R Orinoco (E base of Andes from E Táchira and E Falcón, Portuguesa and Apure E to Anzoátegui) and S of R Orinoco (N Amazonas and Bolívar), and N Brazil (upper R Branco drainage).
  • S. c. trinitatis (Ridgway, 1891) – NE Venezuela (E Anzoátegui to E Sucre, Monagas and Delta Amacuro), Trinidad and Guyana.
  • S. c. canadensis (Linnaeus, 1766) – Suriname and coastal French Guiana.
  • S. c. fumosus J. T. Zimmer, 1933 – SW Venezuela (S Amazonas).
  • S. c. loretoyacuensis (E. Bartlett, 1882) – locally in NW Amazonian Brazil (along R Negro, lower R Branco and R Solimões), extreme SE Colombia (SE Amazonas) and NE Peru (along R Amazon, lower R Marañón and R Ucayali).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15·5 cm; 20–28 g (nominate), 23·5–26 g (race trinitatis). Crested. Male nominate race has head, throat and centre of breast black... read more


    Loudsong a series of c. 10–15 notes, initially flat with complaining quality, then rising in... read more


    Understorey and midstorey of deciduous woodland, gallery forest, savanna woodland, and shrubby... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds primarily on a variety of insects, including true bugs (Hemiptera, Homoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), adult and larval lepidopterans,... read more


    Season Jan in E Colombia (NE Meta), Jun–Sept in N & C Venezuela, May–Jul on Trinidad, Mar–May in Guyana, Dec–... read more


    Presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common throughout its large range. Occurs in Amacayacu National Park, in SE Colombia, Henri Pittier National Park, in N... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K., Isler, M.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-crested Antshrike (Sakesphorus canadensis). 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).