Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)


Great Antpitta (Grallaria excelsa)


French: Grande Grallaire German: Fahlbauch-Ameisenpitta Spanish: Tororoí excelso

Grallaria excelsa


, 1893,

Montaña Aricagua, Andes of Mérida, Venezuela


Vocal analysis reveals that present species and G. gigantea (which see) have very similar songs, differing only subtly in degree of acceleration#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. e. excelsa Berlepsch, 1893 – Sierra de Perijá in W Venezuela, possibly extending into adjacent Colombia, also Andes from Lara S to Táchira.
  • G. e. phelpsi Gilliard, 1939 – Coastal Range of Venezuela in Aragua (Colonia Tovar).
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm. Adult has lores and eyering whitish, most of crown brown, hindcrown and nape grey; rest of upperparts olive-brown (contrasting with grey hind­crown); throat white... read more


    Song, given at dawn, is a low-frequency vibrating hollow (700 Hz), on average lasting 4·3... read more


    Dense cloudforest on highest ridges at 1700–2300 m, especially above 2000 m.

    Food and feeding

    Diet not recorded. Forages singly in debris on forest floor.


    Breeds in May–Jun, early in rainy season in N Andes of Venezuela. Three nests in Yacambú National Park all located in forest... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Colombian East Andes EBA, Cordillera de Mérida EBA and Cordillera de la Costa Central EBA. An extremely poorly known... read more

    Recommended citation

    Krabbe, N.K., Schulenberg, T.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Great Antpitta (Grallaria excelsa). 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 6 December 2019).