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 did not 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. Upperparts including crown deep sepia-brown, becoming brighter on uppertail-coverts and slightly paler on primaries; lores and head-sides dull buffy, usually with... read more


Song is a lively, four-noted “pit-wheer perwheedit” with accent on first syllable and short pauses... read more


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

Food and feeding

Very few data, but presumably it is a generalist with a similar diet to that of G. quitensis; foraging behaviour certainly very... read more


In Colombia, specimens in breeding condition in Aug (Santander), adult food-carrying in Jun (Cundinamarca), fledgling in Oct (Bogotá), and... 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 Pisba and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). 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 25 June 2019).