Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-naped Antpitta (Grallaria nuchalis)


French: Grallaire à nuque rousse German: Rostnacken-Ameisenpitta Spanish: Tororoí nuquicastaño
Other common names: Russet-capped Antpitta (ruficeps)

Grallaria nuchalis

P. L. Sclater

, 1860,

Río Napo, Ecuador


Perhaps sister-species of G. carrikeri; also related to G. ridgelyi. Race obsoleta weakly different in plumage, and moderately so in voice owing to several initial stuttering notes in otherwise similar song; but no clear case for species rank on present evidence. Race ruficeps claimed to be more distinctive vocally and possibly a separate species#R, yet analysis revealed no clear differences from nominate. Hybridization between present species and G. ruficapilla recorded in high-elevation forest fragment in C Andes of Colombia#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. n. ruficeps P. L. Sclater, 1874 – Colombia in C Andes (Antioquia S to Cauca) and on W slope of E Andes in Cundinamarca; perhaps this form on W Andes in Antioquia (Páramo de Frontino#R, Quebrada La Linda#R).
  • G. n. obsoleta C. Chubb, 1916 – W Ecuador (Imbabura, Pichincha).
  • G. n. nuchalis P. L. Sclater, 1860 – E Ecuador and adjacent N Peru (Piura); perhaps this form in S Colombia (E Nariño#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    19·5–20 cm; three males 111–122 g, three females 104–122 g. Adult has grey lores, dark chestnut crown, rufous-chestnut rear crown, nape and side of... read more


    Song (nuchalis) 2·3–4·1 seconds long, at intervals of 6–15... read more


    Dense bamboo thickets in humid montane forest, at 1900–3150 m.

    Food and feeding

    Stomachs of four specimens held ants, beetles, other insect parts, and a millipede (Diplopoda). Food brought to a nest in S Ecuador... read more


    Sings from low hidden perch, mainly at dawn and dusk. Eggs 36·3–36·8 × 26·9–27·9 mm. Study on... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon; locally fairly common, e.g. in Peru. Common in Podocarpus National Park, in Ecuador, and occurs in several other... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K. & Schulenberg, T.S. (2019). Chestnut-naped Antpitta (Grallaria nuchalis). 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 20 June 2019).