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ⓘ Great antshrike




Great antshrike
                                     

ⓘ Great antshrike

The great antshrike is a passerine bird in the antbird family, Thamnophilidae. It is the only member of the genus Taraba. It is a resident breeder in the tropical New World in southern Mexico, Central America, Trinidad and South America down to northern Argentina and southeastern Brazil.

                                     

1. Taxonomy

The great antshrike was described by the French ornithologist Louis Vieillot in 1816 and given the binomial name Thamnophilus major. The current genus Taraba was introduced by the French naturalist Rene Lesson in 1831. There are ten recognised subspecies.

                                     

2. Description

The great antshrike is a large and distinctive antbird, typically 20.3 cm about 8 inches long, and weighs 56 g. It has a crest, heavy hooked bill, and brilliant red eyes. The adult male has black upperparts, with two white wingbars and white underparts. There is a white dorsal patch normally concealed except in threat display; young males are similar to the adult, but have rufous wing coverts. The female has rich rufous upperparts and white underparts.

                                     

3. Distribution and habitat

This is a bird of thickets, cocoa and citrus plantations and sometimes gardens, with a preference for dense undergrowth. It is usually found as territorial pairs.

                                     

4. Behaviour

The female lays two, sometimes three, grey-marked white eggs in a deep cup nest in a shrub, which are incubated by both sexes for 14 days to hatching. The chicks fledge in another 12 days.

The great antshrike feeds on insects and other arthropods gleaned from foliage. It will also take small lizards and mammals. It is a skulking species, which may be located by its song, 30 to 40 musical pook-pook-pook notes, or a snarled churrrr. Sleeping birds are readily located at sites such as the Asa Wright Nature Centre on Trinidad.

                                     
  • White - plumed antbird Antioquia bristle - tyrant Northern slaty - antshrike Blackish - grey antshrike Black - faced antthrush White - flanked antwren Galapagos penguin
  • severa Great antshrike Taraba major Barred antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Rufous - capped antshrike Thamnophilus ruficapillus Rufous - winged antshrike Thamnophilus
  • Fasciated antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus Great antshrike Taraba major Barred antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Black - crowned antshrike Thamnophilus
  • Pandion haliaetus and large - billed tern Phaetusa simplex The glossy antshrike Sakesphorus luctuosus is endemic. The Saraca - Taquera National Forest
  • tones. Great antshrike Taraba major Barred antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Black - crowned antshrike Thamnophilus atrinucha Russet antshrike Thamnistes
  • Thamnomanes caesius caesius Cinereous antshrike NE - ICMBio status VU Thamnophilus aethiops White - shouldered antshrike LC IUCN - ICMBio status EN Thamnophilus
  • tones. Great antshrike Taraba major Barred antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Black - crowned antshrike Thamnophilus atrinucha Russet antshrike Thamnistes
  • tones. Fasciated antshrike Cymbilaimus lineatus Great antshrike Taraba major Barred antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Black antshrike Thamnophilus nigriceps

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