Family Typical Antbirds (Thamnophilidae)

Least Concern

Giant Antshrike (Batara cinerea)


French: Batara géant German: Riesenameisenwürger Spanish: Batará gigante

Tamnophilus [sic] cinereus


, 1819,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Populations in Bolivia, W Paraguay and NW Argentina require study; recent specimens from presumed range of race argentina (in E Bolivia lowlands) approach excubitor in paleness, and plumage differences between the two may be clinal; also, diagnosable differences may exist between lowland and foothill populations. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. c. excubitor J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1940 – E slope of Andes of C Bolivia (W Santa Cruz).
  • B. c. argentina Shipton, 1918 – E slope of Andes of S Bolivia (S Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Tarija) and NW Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, N Tucumán), W Paraguay (Boquerón, Presidente Hayes).
  • B. c. cinerea (Vieillot, 1819) – SE Brazil (S Espírito Santo and SW São Paulo S to Santa Catarina and C Rio Grande do Sul) and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    30–34 cm, 148–155 g (cinerea); 27–28 cm, 100–110 g (argentina). Bill long and heavily hooked, tail very long and broad. Male has... read more


    Loudsong a short roll (like a police whistle), followed by loud, strident notes of constant... read more


    Understorey and mid-storey of evergreen forest, from lowlands to 2600 m in the Andes. At lower... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), and other arthropods; also snails and slugs; also small vertebrates, including frogs,... read more


    Nests in N Argentina in Oct (Tucuman), Nov (Jujuy) and Dec (Salta), and in Brazil (São Paulo) in Nov. Nest very large, external diameter 18... read more


    Presumed resident throughout range; in some regions, possibly some local movement following large... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Seemingly healthy populations in several large parks and reserves in Brazil, among them Itatiaia, Serra dos Órgãos, Aparados da Serra and Iguaçu... read more

    Recommended citation

    Zimmer, K. & Isler, M.L. (2020). Giant Antshrike (Batara cinerea). 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).