Dusky Antbirds or Tyrannine Antbirds

The Dusky Antbird or Tyrannine Antbird, Cercomacra tyrannina, is a passerine bird in the antbird family.


It is a resident breeder in tropical Central and South America from southeastern Mexico southwards to western Ecuador, and Amazonian Brazil.

This is a common bird in the understory thickets of wet forest, especially at edges and clearings, and in adjacent tall second growth.

Breeding / Nesting

The female lays two reddish-brown-spotted white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes, in a small, deep, plant fibre and dead leaf cup nest, which is suspended from the fork of a thin branch or vine low in a tree. The male and female parents both feed the chicks.


The Dusky Antbird is typically 14.5 cm long, and weighs 18 g. The adult male is mainly blackish-grey above and paler grey below, with two white wing bars. The female has brown upperparts and rufous-cinnamon underparts.

Young birds, especially males, are darker than the adults.

Exact plumage shades vary geographically, since there are a number of subspecies of this antbird.

Calls / Vocalizations

This species has a whistled kick call, and the song is a duet, the male’s ascending whistle pu pu pe pi pi answered by the female’s softer, jerky juu-ut juu-ut juu-ut juu-ut juu-ut .

Diet / Feeding

The Dusky Antbird is normally found as pairs throughout the year and does not join mixed-species feeding flocks. It feeds on insects and other arthropods taken from twigs and foliage in thickets or vine tangles. It is easier to hear than see in its dense habitat.

Antbird InformationAntbird Species

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