Poecilotriccus ruficeps melanomystax
Rio Blanco Natural Reserve, Caldas, Colombia.
One of my favorite flycatchers! These tiny and beautiful birds flit actively in and around patches of bamboo in the Andes, giving distinctive churring calls. Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark IV camera and a Canon 300mm f2.8 IS II lens, handheld, on 26 March 2017.You can find previous featured photos here.
Welcome to antpitta.com. I use this site to share my photographs of wild birds. With over 4000 photos of more than 3000 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 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:
17 June: I just changed the featured photo to Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, which we photographed at Rio Blanco in Colombia while waiting (in vain) for a Bicolored Antpitta to come in.
15 June: Today's update is again mostly about hummingbirds. Buffy Helmetcrest is a nice one to be hummer number 200 for the site - we got quite close to one but foggy conditions made getting a decent background impossible. I really like one the shots of Rainbow-bearded Thornbill too. Others today were Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Viridian Metaltail, Mountain Velvetbreast, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Paramo Tapaculo, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Gray-browed Brush-Finch, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, and Black-capped Tyrannulet.
7 June: More from Colombia... Black-thighed Puffleg is a new hummer species for the site - the male is the only puffleg with black leg puffs. I also finally got a shot of Shining Sunbeam that shows well the part of the bird that actually shines. I think that gives me 199 hummingbird species photographed... what will 200 be?
4 June: I just got back from a short trip to Colombia with my colleague Pablo Cervantes Daza, mainly to check out some sites that we want to include in future photo tours. I finally got to visit Rio Blanco, which is famous for its antpittas. It's always fun to add a new antpitta to antpitta.com, and this time it is Brown-banded Antpitta. It's not the prettiest member of the family, but any antpitta is neat to me. Sadly we didn't get any shots of Bicolored (heard only), which is usually a regular visitor to the feeders at Rio Blanco, but it recently had stopped coming. The guide there, Carlos Mario, thought that it was predated by a Tayra Eira barbara, a huge weasel. As tame as some antpittas can become at feeders, they are still wild animals and subject to the perils of their natural habitat. With this new addition, I now have photos of 30 out of 53 antpittas, based on Clements/Cornell taxonomy. The number of species is certainly going to increase with future revisions. This is the first of a number of new photos I'll be adding in the near future.
17 May: I'm making good progress on adding photos from my Mexico trip in March and April. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls were surprisingly common in a few areas we visited, and I got a nice shot of a singing bird near Tuxtepec. Orange-breasted Bunting is one of my all-time favorite Mexican species and I had to add another shot of it. I also finally got a decent one of White-eared Hummingbird - it's one of the most common species in the highlands, but the lack of feeders in Mexico makes it tough to pin down for a photo. Other new additions today are American Robin, Red Warbler, Inca Dove, Rufous-naped (Sclater's) Wren, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, "Brown-throated" House Wren, Pileated Flycatcher, Yelow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, and White-bellied Emerald.
13 May: 3000! I've been busy on going through my photos from Thailand earlier this year, adding the best of them to an external Flickr gallery. That surpasses the 3000 species mark for antpitta.com, counting photos on the site and linked to on the external galleries.
3 May: A few new shots from Mexico: Collared Towhee, Gray Silky-flycatcher, and Long-tailed Wood-Partridge.
30 April: Mexico has some great jays as well, but they are usually very tough to photograph. I encountered an exceptional number of Dwarf Jays in the mountains north of Oaxaca City during my trip, and with patience and persistence finally managed to get a decent shot. I also added a shot of Gray-barred Wren as well as a few other things.
21 April: With 32 species, Mexico is more to a tremendous variety of wrens (only Colombia has more). I photographed some of them on my recent trip, and today I'm uploading decent shots of Rock Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, and Boucard's Wren. I shot two quite different-looking Rock Wrens in Oaxaca, which makes me think that two different subspecies occur there, contrary to published ranges. I've also added two new species of sparrow to the site, Lark Sparrow, which winters as far south as Oaxaca, and Bridled Sparrow, a really pretty Mexican endemic.
9 March: A short trip to Northern Colombia got me a few decent shots, including a lucky photo of a Black-backed Antshrike. I've added a few more below, all of them improvements on images I had gotten on previous trips: Golden-winged Sparrow, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, and Green-rumped Parrotlet. I leave in a couple of days for a very long trip to Mexico. The last time I went to Mexico I had only just gotten a decent DSLR - this time around I have much better gear, so hope to get some better material.
9 February: I've finally been able to do a reasonably big update, adding a bunch of species from my Ecuador trip late last year, and changing the "featured" photo to a Helmeted Woodpecker from a Southeast Brazil trip in October. For a first time in a while, I've been able to add another antpitta species (29 now) to antpitta.com, a Plain-backed Antpitta from eastern Ecuador. It's not the prettiest antpitta out there, but still neat (as are all antpittas!). I highlighted a few other shots below: Masked Mountain-Tanager, Black-winged Saltator, and Dusky Piha. Some other bew shots are Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Uniform Treehunter, Lita Woodpecker (crappy shot but documents a nest), Lawrence's Thrush, and Yellow-browed Sparrow. I've also added two external galleries on Flickr, one for a trip to Yellowstone in October and another for Myanmar in January. Tomorrow I head off for a short tour to Colombia.
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.
Recently added photos:
17 June: Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher from Colombia.
15 June: Buffy Helmetcrest from Colombia.
15 June: Rainbow-bearded Thornbill from Colombia.
15 June: Tourmaline Sunangel from Colombia.
15 June: Sword-billed Hummingbird from Colombia.
15 June: Viridian Metaltail from Colombia.
15 June: Mountain Velvetbreast from Colombia.
15 June: Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager from Colombia.
15 June: Paramo Tapaculo from Colombia.
15 June: Plumbeous Sierra-Finch from Colombia.
15 June: Gray-browed Brush-Finch from Colombia.
15 June: Pale-naped Brush-Finch from Colombia.
15 June: Black-capped Tyrannulet from Colombia.
7 June: Black-thighed Puffleg from Colombia.
7 June: Shining Sunbeam from Colombia.
4 June: Brown-banded Antpitta from Colombia.
23 May: Rose-bellied Bunting from Mexico.
23 May: Flammulated Flycatcher from Mexico.
23 May: Russet-crowned Motmot from Mexico.
23 May: Hooded Yellowthroat from Mexico.
23 May: Hutton's Vireo from Mexico.
23 May: Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet from Mexico.
23 May: Ocellated Quail from Mexico.
23 May: Plain-capped Starthroat from Mexico.
23 May: Pomarine Jaeger from Mexico.
23 May: Red-headed Tanager from Mexico.
23 May: White-fronted Parrot from Mexico.
21 May: Broad-billed Hummingbird from Mexico
21 May: Blue-and-white Mockingbird from Mexico
21 May: Cinnamon-tailed Sparrow from Mexico
21 May: Amrthyst-throated Hummingbird from Mexico
21 May: Blue-capped Hummingbird from Mexico
21 May: Brown Booby from Mexico
21 May: Yellow-eyed Junco from Mexico
21 May: Buff-breasted Flycatcher from Mexico
21 May: Greater Pewee from Mexico
21 May: Colima Pygmy-Owl from Mexico
17 May: Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl from Mexico
17 May: Orange-breasted Bunting from Mexico
17 May: White-eared Hummingbird from Mexico
17 May: American Robin from Mexico
17 May: Brown-backed Solitaire from Mexico
17 May: Red Warbler from Mexico
17 May: Inca Dove from Mexico
17 May: Rufous-naped (Sclater's) Wren from Mexico
17 May: Rufous-crowned Sparrow from Mexico
17 May: Ash-throated Flycatcher from Mexico
17 May: Gray-collared Becard from Mexico
17 May: House Wren (Brown-throated) from Mexico
17 May: Pileated Flycatcher from Mexico
17 May: Yelow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler from Mexico
17 May: White-bellied Emerald from Mexico
13 May: 69 photos from Thailand (external gallery)
4 May: Collared Towhee from Mexico
4 May: Gray Silky-flycatcher from Mexico
4 May: Long-tailed Wood-Partridge from Mexico
30 April: Dwarf Jay from Mexico
30 April: Gray-barred Wren from Mexico
30 April: Hairy Woodpecker from Mexico
30 April: Brown Creeper from Mexico
30 April: Golden-browed Warbler from Mexico
21 April: Rock Wren from Mexico
21 April: Gray-breasted Wood-Wren from Mexico
21 April: Boucard's Wren from Mexico
21 April: Lark Sparrow from Mexico
21 April: Bridled Sparrow from Mexico
21 April: Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay from Mexico
17 April: Nava's Wren from Mexico
17 April: Unspotted Saw-whet Owl from Mexico
9 March: Black-backed Antshrike from Colombia
9 March: Golden-winged Sparrow from Colombia
9 March: Strong-billed Woodcreeper from Colombia
9 March: Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush from Colombia
9 March: Green-rumped Parrotlet from Colombia
9 February: Helmeted Woodpecker from Brazil
9 February: Plain-backed Antpitta from Ecuador
9 February: Ochre-breasted Antpitta from Ecuador
9 February: Masked Mountain-Tanager from Ecuador
9 February: Black-winged Saltator from Ecuador
9 February: Dusky Piha from Ecuador
9 February: Gray-tailed Piha from Ecuador
9 February: Dark-breasted Spinetail from Ecuador
9 February: Uniform Treehunter from Ecuador
9 February: Lita Woodpecker from Ecuador
9 February: Lawrence's Thrush from Ecuador
9 February: Citron-bellied Attila from Ecuador
9 February: Yellow-browed Sparrow from Ecuador
9 February: External gallery for a trip to Yellowstone National Park
9 February: External gallery for a trip to Myanmar (Burma)
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.
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