Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Black-crowned Antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha)


French: Batara à nuque noire German: Kolumbienameisenwürger Spanish: Batará pizarroso occidental
Other common names: Western Slaty Antshrike

Thamnophilus atrinucha

Salvin and Godman

, 1892,



Closest to T. bridgesi and T. bernardi (with T. shumbae)#R. See also T. punctatus. Proposed form subcinereus (N Colombia) represents part of clinal variation within nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. a. atrinucha Salvin & Godman, 1892 – Caribbean slope from S Belize and NE Guatemala S to N Colombia (including Magdalena Valley) and NW Venezuela (E to Trujillo, E side of L Maracaibo), and Pacific slope in NW Costa Rica and from C Panama (Coclé) S to extreme NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • T. a. gorgonae Thayer & Bangs, 1905 – Gorgona I (off Cauca, W Colombia).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 21–24 g. Male is mostly grey, darker above, with black crown with geographically variable amounts of grey in forehead, black on centre of back, white... read more


    Loudsong a rapidly delivered (e.g. 19 notes, 2·3 seconds), usually uncountable, series of... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of lowland and foothill semi-deciduous forest, vine-rich moist evergreen... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds primarily on insects, including adult and larval Lepidoptera, katydids (Tettigoniidae), crickets (Gryllidae), grasshoppers (Acrididae... read more


    Jan–Sept in Costa Rica and Dec–Oct (peak May–Aug) in Panama. Nest built by both sexes, commencing on average 10 days... read more


    None recorded; presumed resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common throughout much of its range. This includes a number of protected areas, such as La Selva Biological Reserve, in Costa Rica,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K., Isler, M.L. & de Juana, E. (2020). Black-crowned Antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha). 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).