Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Esmeraldas Antbird (Sipia nigricauda)


French: Alapi d’Esmeraldas German: Chocóameisenvogel Spanish: Hormiguero de Esmeraldas

Myrmeciza nigricauda

Salvin and Godman

, 1892,

Intag, Imbabura, Ecuador


See S. berlepschi. Recent split of S. palliata from S. laemosticta on mainly vocal evidence prompted speculation that palliata might be vocally more similar to and hence possibly conspecific with present species, which, however, differs in its black vs dull reddish-brown mantle, wings and tail (4); white vs buffy lower row of wing-spots (1); song with higher peak frequency (from published data#R effect size 2.9, score 2) and with notes decreasing rather than increasing in pitch (2)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Pacific slope in W Colombia (S from C Chocó) and W Ecuador (S to El Oro).

Descriptive notes

13–13·5 cm; 22–23 g. Male is dark grey, wings and tail darker, inter­scapular patch white; wing-coverts black, tipped white; iris red. Female differs from... read more


Male loudsong (e.g. 6 notes, 2 seconds) begins with 3–4 flat, burry notes that become more... read more


Understorey and floor of wet foothill evergreen forest and mature second-growth woodland; mostly at... read more

Food and feeding

Little published. Feeds on insects, probably also other arthropods such as spiders. Pairs, individuals, or family groups forage mostly 0... read more


Almost nothing known. Record of stub-tailed young following two adults in Jun in Colombia (Valle). Eggs in Ecuador reported to be pinkish,... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common throughout its somewhat restricted range. Although large expanses of intact, suitable habitat still exist within... read more

Recommended citation

Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Esmeraldas Antbird (Sipia nigricauda). 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).