New Antbird Discovered in Peru

Team of researchers from the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science (LSUMNS) visired the extremely remote eastern Cordillera Azul in town of Flor de Café in north-central Peru.

They discovered the distinctive Scarlet-banded Barbet (Capito wallacei) on “Peak 1538.” Now, twenty years later, we were back to see this iconic species, which graces the cover of the Birds of Peru field guide.

Scientists published the description of the Cordillera Azul Antbird (Myrmoderus eowilsoni).

Flor de Café is located very near the Cordillera Azul National Park, which was created in 2001 and contains over 13,500 sq km of pristine habitat.

The antbirds are a large family of insect-eating passerine birds, Thamnophilidae, known for habitually following columns of marching ants.

There are more than 210 species in roughly 45 genera, known variously as antshrikes, antwrens, antvireos, fire-eyes, bare-eyes and bushbirds. They are found across subtropical and tropical Central and South America, from Mexico to Argentina.

The antbirds are highly diverse; all are of small to medium size (between 4 and 14 inches, or 9.5-37 cm).

The newly-discovered species, named the Cordillera Azul antbird (Myrmoderus eowilsoni), is typically 5.5-6 inches (14-15 cm) long, has a wingspan of 8.7 inches (22 cm), and weighs 27 g.

The songs of both males and female Cordillera Azul antbirds are distinguished from those of other members of the Thamnophilidae family by a combination of a clear whistled quality, few notes, and a simple pattern.