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Ocellated Antbird - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 00:13, 19 November 2017 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (Clearer image. Imp sizes. References updated)
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Photo by PanamaHarpy
Pipeline Road, Panama, November 2017
Phaenostictus mcleannani


19–19·5 cm (7½-7¾ in)
Upperparts brown to reddish-brown with black spots, rufous collar, and crown that varies from grayish, to buffy to brown depending on subspecies. Side of head dominated by large bluish facial skin. Underside black with wide rufous fringes producing a spotted appearance. Tail black and relatively long; bill black, legs pale.


Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, to Panama in Central America and Pacific slope of Ecuador and Colombia.



Three subspecies are recognized by Clements1:

  • P. m. saturatus:
  • P. m. mcleannani:
  • Central and eastern Panama to north-western Colombia
  • P. m. pacificus:
  • Extreme south-western Colombia (Nariño) to north-western Ecuador (Esmeraldas)

while Restall2 also gives range and description of chocoanus (included in mcleannani by Clements).


Tropical Zone, moist forests in lowland and foothills. It is always found in undergrowth.


This species follows army ant swarms, foraging alone, and is rarely seen away from these. It will dominate any other antbird, which is also following the swarm. Not easily approached and moves quickly between perches and the ground. Has a habit of jerking the tail up and slowly lowering it.


Diet consists of insects and arthropods, as well as small lizards which are flushed by army ants in the neotropical forests.


The male offers food to the female prior to mating.

Ground nester with the nest hidden at the base of a large tree. The clutch consists of 1-2 heavily speckled whitish eggs. It seems that the male and female incubate the eggs as both appear to have brood patches.


Series of high penetrating whistles, first rising, then falling on the last few notes. Also gives buzzy calls.


  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. Restall et al. 2006. Birds of Northern South America. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300124156
  3. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
  4. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  5. ResearchGate
  6. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Nov 2017)

Recommended Citation

External Links