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. I have posted over 4000 photos of more than 3000 bird species. Most photos are from the Neotropics, though I add photos from elsewhere around the world when I get the chance. 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.
Changes coming to antpitta.com! My website is now over ten years old, and it is a very primative design. I am working on moving over the species galleries to Flickr, which will take quite some time. I will still use antpitta.com as my blog, and hope to eventually remake the site to be more modern.
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:
11 August: While transferring photos over to Flickr, I've come across some nice shots from the past year that I had overlooked. This first is a Black-chested Jay from the lodge in the Santa Marta mountains in Colombia. It was almost dark and I had to shoot at 12800 ISO, but with some background noise reduction it came out pretty nice. The other is a Masked Water Tyrant from Southeast Brazil which was posing nicely. I leave tomorrow for back to back trips to Peru and Brazil, so it may be a while before I can add anything new.
2 August: I found some shots from last year I forgot to upload, such as this Spot-winged Wood-Quail. The guides at Intervales State Park in Brazil had successfully habituated a covey to come in and eat corn at a spot inside the forest. These birds were nearly tame and we could pretty much walk right up to them! It was great to see them like this since most of the time they are a nightmare to actually see. There was very little light, but I managed to get a couple of reasonably sharp shots. I'm making good progress in moving the photo galleries over to Flickr, but a lot more still needs to be done.
19 July: I have decided to start using Flickr for my Neotropical bird galleries. The ease of uploading and replacing photos, EXIF support, geotagging, and the customizable image descriptions that support html formatting have all convinced me. With batch upload and batch image editing, it is (relatively) easy to copy my material over. It's still going to be a lot of work. See here for an example of a converted gallery. I'll still be using antpitta.com as a gateway with a blog and index, but I am also going to start including non neotropical stuff in the blog, starting with the Cedar Waxwing below. These are just a few of several changes I have in mind to give my aging website a facelift.
17 July: A couple more shots from Colombia, Colombian Chachalaca and Blue-necked Tanager. Both were visiting feeders at a private house near Jardin called Finca Bambusa. This was a great spot for bird photography and I recommend it if you are in the area.
6 July: It's tough to photograph Andean Cock-of-the-rock at their leks since there is typically very little light when the males display. On my trip to Colombia we visited a lek that was active in the afternoon, and it was better for photography than any I've visited before. We also got close to some Yellow-eared Parrots, though the light was tough.
30 June: Just one one shot in this update, the striking Red-bellied Grackle. It's endemic to the western and central ranges of the Colombian Andes, and has always been one of my favorite birds of the region.
26 June: The Rio Blanco reserve in Colombia is the best place in the world to photograph Chestnut-crowned Antpitta. They have become almost tame around one of the worm feeders there. I've added a new gallery just for that species.
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.
Recently added photos:
11 August: Black-chested Jay from Colombia.
11 August: Masked Water-Tyrant from Brazil.
2 August: Spot-winged Wood-Quail from Brazil.
19 July: Cedar Waxwing from the USA.
17 July: Colombian Chachalaca from Colombia.
17 July: Blue-necked Tanager from Colombia.
6 July: Andean Cock-of-the-rock from Colombia.
6 July: Yellow-eared Parrot from Colombia.
30 June: Red-bellied Grackle from Colombia.
26 June: Chestnut-crowned Antpitta from Colombia.
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.
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