• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Chestnut-backed Antbird - BirdForum Opus

Poliocrania exsul
Photo by Birdingcraft
Carara National Park, Costa Rica.


14 cm.

  • Black head, neck and breast
  • Chestnut upperparts, wings and tail
  • Dark brown lower belly and flanks


  • Brownish-black head and neck

Both sexes have a pale blue bare patch of skin around each eye
Juvenile:duller and more slaty


Subspecies maculifer has rows of tiny white spots on the wings.


Central and South America
Central America: Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
South America: Colombia and Ecuador


Formerly placed in genus Myrmeciza.


There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • C. e. exsul:
  • C. e. occidentalis:
  • C. e. niglarus:
  • Eastern Panama and adjacent extreme north-western Colombia (northern Chocó)
  • C. e. cassini:
  • Extreme south-eastern Panama (Darién) and northern Colombia
  • C. e. maculifer:
  • Pacific slope of western Colombia and western Ecuador


Up to 900m in understory thickets in wet forest, near streams.



The cup nest is made from vines, plants and dead leaves, placed low in vegetation. The 2 white eggs, have purple or reddish-brown spots. Both parents care for the young.


The diet includes insects, lizards and frogs.


Call: a grating naar
Song: a whistled peeet peeew


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ayerbe Quiñones, F. 2019. An illustrated field guide to The Birds of Colombia. Wildlife Conservation Society/Colombia Program. ISBN: 978-958-5461-41-3
  3. Avibase
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.