Family Antpittas (Grallariidae)

Least Concern

Northern Tawny Antpitta (Grallaria alticola)


French: Grallaire alticole German: Ockerwangen-Ameisenpitta Spanish: Tororoí leonado norteño

Grallaria alticola


, 1919,

Lagunillas, Boyacá, Colombia


Hitherto treated as conspecific with G. quitensis and G. atuensis, but differs in its slightly smaller size with clearly smaller bill (at least 1), browner (less olive) upperparts (1), and distinctive voice (see G. atuensis for species-level difference in call), having a four-note vs three-note song with short pauses between last three notes (4) resulting in a rhythmic phrase, and reaching lower overall (vs quitensis) or maximum (vs atuensis) frequencies (1)#R; in playback experiments#R, present species and G. quitensis didn’t respond to the songs of the other members of the complex. Monotypic.

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

E Andes of Colombia (NE Santander S to Cundinamarca).

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm. Adult is very similar to G. quitensis, but smaller, with smaller bill, browner (less olive) upperparts, and underparts extensively mottled with white.... read more


Song is a lively “pit-wheer perwheedit” with accent on first syllable, the “perwheedit” also... read more


Elfin forest and páramo with scattered low shrubbery and trees, especially near lakes or... read more

Food and feeding

No information.


In Colombia, specimens in breeding condition in Aug (Santander), and juvenile in Jun (Cundinamarca). Territorial throughout year; sings all... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly widespread, occupying a range of c. 49,700 km². Common in Chingaza and El Cocuy National Parks, and also occurs in Sumapaz... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Northern Tawny Antpitta (Grallaria alticola). 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 13 November 2018).