Pittasoma rufopileatum rufopileatum
Mashpi Shungo Reserve, Pichincha, Ecuador.
There is no easier place currently to see this fantastic bird. It has become habituated and comes in to eat worms almost every day up on a forested ridge above a chocolote farm (the chocolate is great too). Taxonomically, this is no longer an antpitta but now placed with the gnateaters (Conopophagidae). I don't really like that treatment, as the bird, at least to me, behaves far more like an antpitta than a gnateater. Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark III camera and a Canon 100-400mm f4-5.6 IS II lens, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, 10000 ISO, handheld, on 30 November 2016. You can find previous featured photos here.
Welcome to antpitta.com. I use this site to share my photographs of wild birds. With over 3200 photos of more than 2500 bird species, it has become one of the largest private collections of bird photos on the web. Most photos are from the Neotropics, though I do have a section for photos from elsewhere around the world. I have been continually improving my gear and skills over the last eight years. Many of the older shots are not the best quality, but I am always striving to improve them.
Use one of the links below, or scroll down a little to see my blog and a selection of some recent favorites.
Neotropical Birds - explore by family
Complete Index - use this if you are looking for a particular species (it takes a few moments to load)
Other stuff from around the world - photos from areas outside of the Neotropics, including mammals and herps
See a list of recently-added photos
Latest updates and blog:
31 December: I have been neglecting antpitta.com lately, unfortunately, due in part to a busy schedule that has taken me to Brazil and Ecuador over the last several months, among other places. Later today I leave for another trip to Southeast Asia, so I wanted to find time for one last update for 2016. I just changed the "featured photo" to Rufous-crowned Antpitta, which has become a lot more approachable at Mashpi Shungo since my first visit. I've also picked a few of my favorite shots from the Brazil and Ecuador trips to upload: White-eared Puffbird, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Dark-backed Wood-Quail, and Green (Inca) Jay. Happy New Year everyone!
19 August: I've been improving some of the Neotropical galleries, such as woodpeckers and parrots, by reprocessing old photos and even uploading some new ones, like this Magellanic Woodpecker. I've also added various non-neotropical photos to my Flickr account.
1 August: While guiding my last tour I visited a lodge in Southeast Brazil called Itororó Lodge. It's near Nova Friburgo in the state of Rio. It's not really a "new" lodge, but the owners partnered with with Andy Foster, who formerly operated Serra dos Tucanos Lodge, and he's helped turn in it into a very nice birding and bird photography lodge. The feeders are absolutely superb with the likes of Magpie Tanager, Brassy-breasted Tanager, Golden-chevroned Tanager, and Maroon-bellied Parakeet regularly coming in - all these photos are from their feeders.
23 June: Birds of Western Ecuador has been released! I'm pretty happy with how it came out. It's been a long road, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped make it a reality. If you contributed photos and are still awaiting payment and/or complimentary copies, please send me an email and I will pass it on to them.
The book is widely available from most online retailers including Amazon, Buteo Books, NHBS, Andrew Isles, etc. I hope for it to be available within Ecuador at some point, but that may take some time.
I'm leaving today for a couple of Brazil tours, so hopefully will have some new shots to share when I return in a few weeks.
7 June: I have a nice shot of White-tipped Sicklebill from almost three years ago that somehow slipped through the cracks and never got uploaded. I just added it as the headline shot, which was due to be changed anyway.
23 May: I haven't had a chance to work on the website lately, but today I added a couple of shots from western Ecuador, Streak-headed Woodcreeper and Fasciated Wren.
31 March: This morning I'm adding the rest of my photos from Colombia in February and March. Some of my favorites come from the deserts of the far North on the Guajira Peninsula: White-whiskered Spinetail, Vermilion Cardinal, White-tailed Hawk, and Orinocan Saltator. A few new species find their way onto the website: Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Coppery Emerald, White-bibbed Manakin, Scaly-naped Parrot, and White-lored Warbler, and I've replaced older shots or added additional shots for Pale-bellied Hermit, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Saffron Finch, Bicolored Wren, Golden-winged Sparrow, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Masked Trogon, White-tipped Dove, White-tipped Quetzal, Whooping Motmot, and American Coot.
22 March: Starfrontlets are the theme for today, as I upload the remaining two species of the genus Coeligena that I hadn't previoiusly photographed, Blue-throated Starfrontlet and Golden-bellied Starfrontlet (female below, male here). I also added a better shot of the superb White-tailed Starfrontlet.
12 March: I'm back from a great trip to Colombia, and added my favorite shot, Turquoise Dacnis, as the headline photo. More soon!
9 February: Today I added some shots from a recent Ecuador photo tour I guided, mostly from the Amagusa Reserve and Paz de las Aves Refuge. Amagusa is good for tanagers and hummers, like Flame-faced Tanager (featured above), Moss-backed Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Velvet-purple Coronet, and Rufous-throated Tanager. Angel Paz's place was, as usual, great for antpittas (five including the tiny Ochre-breasted and hulking Giant) but for me the Rufous-breasted Antthrush stole the show, with one that was gathering all the worms it could manage to stuff in its mouth, presumably for unseen nestlings.
I also made improvements to the tanager galleries, reprocessing a bunch of photos and rediscovering a few I forgot I had.
26 January: Multi-flash photography is a very popular activity for many bird photographers, especially for hummingbirds. It's something I only do occasionally since I prefer to get out into the field and shoot with natural light. However, I need to know the ins and outs of it for the groups that I guide that want to spend time with it. Last weekend I spent a few hours to get familiar with some new gear, and this Fawn-breasted Brilliant was my favorite. I also finished uploading some shots from by Brazil trip late last year, and a few shots from Ecuador in December: Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Black-crested Warbler, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Chapada Flycatcher, Spix's Guan, Elegant Woodcreeper, White-winged Shrike-Tanager, and Ladder-tailed Nightjar.
17 January: It's been nearly a year since I went on a cruise to the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Today I have finally finished uploading the photos from what is generally considered to be part of the South American region, which includes shots form between mainland South America and the Falklands, the Falklands themselves, and from within 200 nautical miles east of the Falklands. I've finally got better pelagic shots in the galleries as well as more penguins! I'll create separate external galleries for the photos from South Georgia and Antarctica. New species for the website include Southern Rockhopper Penguin, Black-browed Albatross, Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, South Polar Skua, Falkland Steamer-Duck, Striated Caracara, Northern Giant-Petrel, Great Shearwater, Slender-billed Prion, Sooty Shearwater, Soft-plumaged Petrel, and Gray Petrel.
14 January: I've added a new external gallery for my Madagascar trip in November. I've uploaded all the birds (82 shots) already, but still still need to work on the mammals, chameleons, etc.
25 December: Happy holidays! today I uploaded a festively-colored Crimson Topaz along with some cool shots of Pied Puffbird and Agami Heron, all shown below. Others include Bare-faced Curassow and White-crested Spadebill. These were from a recent tour to Amazonian Brazil.
13 December: I updated the featured photo to a pair of Sunbitterns seen at Rio Azul Lodge in Brazil on my last tour. It seemed appropriate to also upload a Sungrebe as well.
20 November: I've added an external gallery for my photos from Kruger National Park in South Africa.
23 October: I'm about to leave for trips to South Africa and Madagascar. I haven't uploaded very much lately, but did a few shots from the Falklands and nearby offshore waters. A few shots are below, but there are more to come.
4 September: Birds of Western Ecuador is the hands of the editors now, and will be going into final design and production pretty soon. Hopefully it will be on the shelves sometime between March and July of 2016. It has been a far larger project than I ever imagined considering the relatively tiny area covered. However, it is such a species-rich region that the guide has full species accounts for almost 950 birds along with over 1450 photos. It is a true field guide, and includes full-color range maps. If it is well received, I'll consider doing another volume that covers the East, or even one for the whole country.
On a totally different subject, I finally finished going through all my Australia photos from July and August, and uploaded the best and most interesting ones to this Flickr album. Hopefully in the next few weeks and I can add a few Neotropical photos to the main website.
23 August: I've been mainly working on my Australia photos, but today I am adding two more shots from Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Brazil, White-banded Swallow and Channel-billed Toucan. I am testing out Flickr for my Australia photos, and have uploaded over 60 of them to this gallery. I have many more shots to process still. Flickr has some neat features like geotagging, and the upload process is very easy, so I am considering using it at least for my non-neotropical photos. That would allow antpitta.com to remain focused on the Neotropics, which of is my area of expertise.
White-banded Swallows perched on a treefall in the Cristalino River
Channel-billed Toucan seen from one of the canopy towers at Cristalino
14 June: A bunch more new shots today from Sani Lodge in Ecuador, including Crested Owl, Black-capped Donacobius, and Gilded Barbet. See the recently-added photos for links to the rest.
Shot handheld with a 5D Mark III, 1/320, f/8, ISO1600, no flash, slight noise reduction in raw conversion;
moderate sharpening was applied to the 100% crop below, but not to the resized image above
Sharpness is good and colors are vivid. What's amazing is that I shot it with a 1.4x teleconverter, and even at f/8, the autofocus was very quick (note that only newer cameras will do this, and you may need a firmware update; you also cannot move the focus zone out of the center - this wasn't a big issue for me). As a (relatively) light 560mm lens with decent autofocus and good image quality, that's pretty darn good, especially when you don't want to lug around something larger and heavier. I imagine I will use it a lot when guiding birding tours, when the bulk and weight of the 300 can be a pain, especially when I have to carry a scope as well. It's also a zoom, which is very handy when you also want to shoot mammals or larger birds. Close focus is exceptional, slightly less than a meter, meaning that it also useful as a macro lens. The focus switch can be set to either 3 m-infinity or to full. This is really helpful. Unless shooting macro, I leave it set to 3 m-infinity. Only rarely do I shoot a bird that is closer than 3 m, and resticting the focus range makes the lens autofocus much more quickly. It also has the latest generation of image stabilization. Below are a couple more shots taken with this lens from the Sani Lodge canopy tower.
16 May: Another small update from Panama. A pair of Spot-crowned Barbets may be the most interesting shot, as it's often hard to get a decent angle at this canopy species. I also liked the White-shouldered Tanager. I was lucky to have a chance to photograph a Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon, which I have only ever seen a few times. Others include Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Squirrel Cuckoo, Western Slaty-Antshrike, Purple Gallinule, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Tawny-crested Tanager, Vaux's Swift, White-winged Becard, White-vented Plumeleteer, and Yellow-bellied Elaenia.
24 April: Many more from Panama today: Black-breasted Puffbird, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Crowned Woodnymph, Keel-billed Toucan, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Bay-headed Tanager, Black-chested Jay, Collared Araracari, Crimson-backed Tanager, Long-billed Hermit, Moustached Antwren, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Rufous-breasted Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Whooping Motmot, Rufous Motmot, and Silver-throated Tanager among others.
21 April: Loads more from (mostly) Panama today; I was there for just over 2 weeks from late November to mid December. It was quite wet at times, but I still came away with a surprisingly large number of shots. It's the best place I know for photographing antbirds, and I'm spotlighting two of them here: White-bellied Antbird and Dusky Antbird. Check the list of recent shots for everything, but some others I liked include Bicolored Antbird, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Olivaceous Flatbill, Southern Bentbill, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Panama Flycatcher, Plain Xenops, and Blue-chested Hummingbird. I also finally nailed a Mangrove Cuckoo, which had been a major nemesis for me, having first dipped it in March 1998!
Recently added photos:
31 December: Rufous-crowned Antpitta from Ecuador.
31 December: Dark-backed Wood-Quail from Ecuador.
31 December: Green (Inca) Jay from Ecuador.
31 December: White-eared Puffbird from Brazil.
31 December: Red-ruffed Fruitcrow from Brazil.
1 September: Chestnut-backed Antbird from Ecuador.
1 September: Ocellated Antbird from Panama.
19 August: Magellanic Woodpecker from Argentina.
1 August: Magpie Tanager from Brazil.
1 August: Brassy-breasted Tanager from Brazil.
1 August: Golden-chevroned Tanager from Brazil.
1 August: Maroon-bellied Parakeet from Brazil.
26 July: Planalto Slaty-Antshrike from Brazil.
23 May: Streak-headed Woodcreeper from Ecuador.
23 May: Fasciated Wren from Ecuador.
31 March: White-whiskered Spinetail from Colombia.
31 March: Vermilion Cardinal from Colombia.
31 March: White-tailed Hawk from Colombia.
31 March: Indigo-capped Hummingbird from Colombia.
31 March: Coppery Emerald from Colombia.
31 March: Pale-bellied Hermit from Colombia.
31 March: Rufous-breasted Hermit from Colombia.
31 March: Saffron Finch from Colombia.
31 March: White-bibbed Manakin from Colombia.
31 March: Bicolored Wren from Colombia.
31 March: Golden-winged Sparrow from Colombia.
31 March: Golden-crowned Flycatcher from Colombia.
31 March: Masked Trogon from Colombia.
31 March: Orinocan Saltator from Colombia.
31 March: Scaly-naped Parrot from Colombia.
31 March: White-lored Warbler from Colombia.
31 March: White-tipped Dove from Colombia.
31 March: White-tipped Quetzal from Colombia.
31 March: Whooping Motmot from Colombia.
31 March: American Coot from Colombia.
28 March: Sooty Ant-Tanager from Colombia.
28 March: Crowned Woodnymph from Colombia.
28 March: Lance-tailed Manakin from Colombia.
24 March: Spot-flanked Gallinule from Colombia.
24 March: Glowing Puffleg from Colombia.
24 March: Coppery-bellied Puffleg from Colombia.
22 March: White-tailed Starfrontlet from Colombia.
22 March: Golden-bellied Starfrontlet from Colombia.
22 March: Blue-throated Starfrontlet from Colombia.
12 March: Turquoise Dacnis from Colombia.
9 February: Flame-faced Tanager from Ecuador.
9 February: Moss-backed Tanager from Ecuador.
9 February: Glistening-green Tanager from Ecuador.
9 February: Rufous-breasted Antthrush from Ecuador.
9 February: Velvet-purple Coronet from Ecuador.
9 February: Rufous-throated Tanager from Ecuador.
9 February: Ochre-breasted Antpitta from Ecuador.
9 February: Giant Antpitta from Ecuador.
9 February: White-necked Jacobin from Ecuador.
9 February: Turquoise Jay from Ecuador.
26 January: Fawn-breasted Brilliant from Ecuador.
26 January: Black-crested Warbler from Ecuador.
26 January: Rusty Flowerpiercer from Ecuador.
26 January: Bare-necked Fruitcrow from Brazil.
26 January: Rufous-tailed Flatbill from Brazil.
26 January: Chapada Flycatcher from Brazil.
26 January: Spix's Guan from Brazil.
26 January: Elegant Woodcreeper from Brazil.
26 January: White-winged Shrike-Tanager from Brazil.
26 January: Ladder-tailed Nightjar from Brazil.
17 January: Black-browed Albatross from the Falklands.
17 January: Wandering Albatross from east of from the Falklands.
17 January: Royal Albatross from Argentina.
17 January: Southern Rockhopper Penguin from the Falklands.
17 January: Magellanic Penguin from the Falklands.
17 January: South Polar Skua from east ofthe Falklands.
17 January: Falkland Steamer-Duck from the Falklands.
17 January: Striated Caracara from the Falklands.
17 January: Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant from the Falklands.
17 January: Northern Giant-Petrel from Argentina.
17 January: Southern Giant-Petrel from Argentina.
17 January: Great Shearwater from east of the Falklands.
17 January: Slender-billed Prion from the Falklands.
17 January: Cape Petrel from Argentina.
17 January: Sooty Shearwater from east of the Falklands.
17 January: Soft-plumaged Petrel from east of the Falklands.
17 January: Gray Petrel from east of the Falklands.
25 December: Crimson Topaz from Brazil.
25 December: Pied Puffbird from Brazil.
25 December: Agami Heron from Brazil.
25 December: Bare-faced Curassow from Brazil.
25 December: White-crested Spadebill from Brazil.
13 December: Sunbittern from Brazil.
13 December: Sungrebe from Brazil.
23 October: Cobb's Wren from the Falklands.
23 October: (Southern) Royal Albatross.
23 October: Slender-billed Prion from the Falklands.
11 October: Cinnamon Sceech-Owl from Peru.
11 October: White-winged Guan from Peru.
11 October: Speckle-chested Piculet from Peru.
11 October: Ecuadorian Piculet from Peru.
11 October: Black-throated Hermit from Peru.
11 October: Long-whiskered Owlet from Peru.
19 September: Brown-banded Puffbird from Brazil.
19 September: Yellow-throated Woodpecker from Brazil.
19 September: Blue-and-yellow Macaw from Brazil.
19 September: Greater Rhea from Brazil.
19 September: Collared Plover from Brazil.
19 September: Black-capped Donacobius from Brazil.
19 September: Spot-tailed Nightjar from Brazil.
23 August: White-banded Swallow from Brazil.
23 August: Channel-billed (Yellow-ridged) Toucan from Brazil.
15 August: Bare-eyed Antbird from Brazil.
15 August: Olive Oropendola from Brazil.
14 June: Crested Owl from Ecuador.
14 June: Black-throated Antbird from Ecuador.
14 June: Dot-backed Antbird from Ecuador.
14 June: Palm Tanager from Ecuador.
14 June: Paradise Tanager from Ecuador.
14 June: Opal-crowned Tanager from Ecuador.
14 June: White-chinned Jacamar from Ecuador.
14 June: Purple Honeycreeper from Ecuador.
14 June: Orange-crowned Manakin from Ecuador.
14 June: Pale-tailed Barbthroat from Ecuador.
14 June: Rufous-breasted Hermit from Ecuador.
14 June: White-winged Swallow from Ecuador.
14 June: Black-capped Donacobius from Ecuador.
14 June: Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper from Ecuador.
14 June: Buff-throated Woodcreeper from Ecuador.
14 June: Long-billed Woodcreeper from Ecuador.
14 June: Lemon-throated Barbet from Ecuador.
14 June: Gilded Barbet from Ecuador.
14 June: Black-tailed Trogon from Ecuador.
14 June: Greater Ani from Ecuador.
14 June: Wattled Jacana from Ecuador.
14 June: Golden-bellied Euphonia from Ecuador.
14 June: Capped Heron from Ecuador.
14 June: Rufescent Tiger-Heron from Ecuador.
14 June: Hook-billed Kite from Ecuador.
14 June: Slender-footed Tyrannulet from Ecuador.
14 June: White-fronted Nunbird from Ecuador.
12 June: Flightless Steamer-Duck from Argentina.
12 June: Black-faced Ibis from Argentina.
12 June: Magellanic Cormorant from Argentina.
12 June: Austral Pygmy-Owl from Argentina.
12 June: Austral Negrito from Argentina.
12 June: Black-chinned Siskin from Argentina.
12 June: Chilean Skua from Argentina.
12 June: Hudsonian Godwit from Argentina.
12 June: Imperial Cormorant from Argentina.
12 June: Magellanic Oystercatcher from Argentina.
12 June: Red Knot from Argentina.
12 June: South American Tern from Argentina.
12 June: White-rumped Sandpiper from Argentina.
9 June: Buff-winged Cinclodes from Argentina.
9 June: Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant from Argentina.
9 June: Correndera Pipit from Argentina.
9 June: Austral Blackbird from Argentina.
9 June: White-throated Caracara from Argentina.
9 June: Dolphin Gull from Argentina.
7 June: Green-backed Trogon from Ecuador
7 June: Many-banded Aracari from Ecuador
7 June: Yellow-billed Nunbird from Ecuador
3 June: White-lored Antpitta from Ecuador
3 June: Cocha Antshrike from Ecuador
3 June: Masked Crimson Tanager from Ecuador
3 June: Black-tailed Tityra from Ecuador
16 May: Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher from Panama
16 May: Spot-crowned Barbet from Panama
16 May: Squirrel Cuckoo from Panama
16 May: Western Slaty-Antshrike from Panama
16 May: Purple Gallinule from Panama
16 May: Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon from Panama
16 May: Straight-billed Woodcreeper from Panama
16 May: Tawny-crested Tanager from Panama
16 May: White-shouldered Tanager from Panama
16 May: Vaux's Swift from Panama
16 May: White-winged Becard from Panama
16 May: White-vented Plumeleteer from Panama
16 May: Yellow-bellied Elaenia from Panama
24 April: Black-breasted Puffbird from Panama
24 April: Chestnut-headed Oropendola from Panama
24 April: Crowned Woodnymph from Panama
24 April: Keel-billed Toucan from Panama
24 April: Gray-headed Chachalaca from Panama
24 April: Bay-headed Tanager from Panama
24 April: Black-chested Jay from Panama
24 April: Collared Araracari from Panama
24 April: Common Black Hawk from Panama
24 April: Crimson-backed Tanager from Panama
24 April: Fork-tailed Flycatcher from Panama
24 April: Long-billed Hermit from Panama
24 April: Mealy Parrot from Panama
24 April: Mouse-colored Tyrannulet from Panama
24 April: Moustached Antwren from Panama
24 April: Red-crowned Ant-Tanager from Panama
24 April: Ruddy Ground-Dove from Panama
24 April: Rufous-breasted Wren from Panama
24 April: Rufous-capped Warbler from Panama
24 April: Whooping Motmot from Panama
24 April: Rufous Motmot from Panama
24 April: Silver-throated Tanager from Panama
19 April: White-bellied Antbird from Panama
19 April: Dusky Antbird from Panama
19 April: Checker-throated Antwren from Panama
19 April: White-flanked Antwren from Panama
19 April: Dot-winged Antwren from Panama
19 April: Bicolored Antbird from Panama
19 April: Spot-winged Antbird from Ecuador
19 April: Golden-crowned Spadebill from Panama
19 April: Olivaceous Flatbill from Panama
19 April: Southern Bentbill from Panama
19 April: Rusty-margined Flycatcher from Panama
19 April: Panama Flycatcher from Panama
19 April: Mangrove Cuckoo from Panama
19 April: Plain Xenops from Panama
19 April: Blue-chested Hummingbird from Panama
19 April: Red-throated Ant-Tanager from Panama
19 April: White-whiskered Puffbird from Panama
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