Black-crested Antshrikes

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The Black-crested Antshrike, Sakesphorus canadensis, is a passerine bird in the antbird family.


Distribution / Range

It is a resident breeder in tropical South America in Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, northern Brazil and northeastern Peru.

This is a bird of undergrowth in mangrove or other swampy forest and thickets near water. It is usually found as territorial pairs.


Breeding / Nesting

The female lays two purple-lined white eggs in a deep cup nest suspended below a branch or vine. They are incubated by both sexes for 14 days to hatching, the female always brooding at night. The chicks fledge in another 12 days.



The Black-crested Antshrike is typically 15.7 cm long, and weighs 24 g.

The adult male has a black head, prominent crest, throat and breast, a rufous-brown back, black wings with white feather edges, a short black tail and a white belly.

The female and immature males have a chestnut crest and head with black and white barring on the cheeks, dull brown upperparts, black-streaked buff underparts, and browner wing and tail feathers than the male.


Diet / Feeding

The Black-crested Antshrike feeds on insects and other arthropods gleaned from foliage. It will also take small lizards and berries.


Calls / Vocalizations

It is an inconspicuous species, often first located by its song, an accelerating and ascending series of musical notes cuew-cuew-cuew-cue-cue-cue-cu-cu-cu-cu, or the call, a snarled churrrr.

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