Races previously split into two groups (N and S) on basis largely of coloration above and presence/strength of streaking below. However, recent study of morphometric and plumage characters#R found all populations of this species highly polymorphic, with plumage patterns variable and geographical boundaries of taxa very difficult to define, all races intergrading; despite colour polymorphism in plumage patterns, it was thought that high level of intergradation and poor resolution of geographical boundaries did not support recognition of subspecies. Treatment of species as monotypic may be valid, but further investigation recommended. Otherwise, description of griseiceps possibly based on a variant with extremely pale plumage, but matched in all respects by birds in a series from N Amazonian Brazil (Amapá). Proposed races dabbenei (SW Paraguay, N Argentina) and chacoensis (NE Argentina) included in praedatus (which intergrades widely with nominate), and immaculatus (N Bolivia) merged with bivittatus. Eight subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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