Masked antpitta (Hylopezus auricularis)

Masked antpitta in tree
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Masked antpitta fact file

Masked antpitta description

GenusHylopezus (1)

This small antpitta belongs to the antbird family, called so because many of the species follow army ants, preying on the insects and small animals that they flush out (3). The masked antpitta is named after the dark, reddish-brown ‘mask’, around the eyes and side of the head, underneath a grey crown. The lores, (between the eyes and the bill), are white, as is the throat, which is bordered by wide, black stripes. The upperparts and tail are olive-brown, the breast is creamy-white streaked with black, and the belly is white (2) (4). The song, (a long, fast, slightly descending series of short notes), is unlike the song of any other species of Hylopezus (5).

Length: 14 cm (2)
Male weight: 43 g (2)
Female weight: 38 g (2)

Masked antpitta biology

There has been no information recorded about the behaviour or ecology of the masked antpitta (2).


Masked antpitta range

Occurs in northern Bolivia; in south eastern Pando and northern Beni (2). It is only known from three sites within this range (4).


Masked antpitta habitat

The masked antpitta has been found in low-lying, muddy forest and thickets, within habitats heavily disturbed by people, including clay pits (for brick-making), grassy open spaces and low secondary forest (2) (5).


Masked antpitta status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Masked antpitta threats

Due to the lack of information regarding the masked antpitta, it is hard to determine what threats it may be facing. At present, it is only known from a small range, and thus may be vulnerable to any potential threats. On the other hand, it appears to be an adaptable bird that tolerates disturbed habitats (2).


Masked antpitta conservation

There are no known conservation measures in place for this species at present, and it is not known to occur in any protected areas. The most beneficial conservation action would be to conduct further research and surveys on this little-known bird (2) (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

For further information on the masked antpitta see:



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2003) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. Birdlife International (June, 2007)
  5. Maijer, S. (1998) Rediscovery of Hylopezus (macularius) auricularis: Distinctive Song and Habitat Indicate Species Rank. The Auk, 115: 1072 - 1073.

Image credit

Masked antpitta in tree  
Masked antpitta in tree

© Jon Hornbuckle

Jon Hornbuckle


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