Russet Antshrikes

Antbird Information ... Antbird Species

Russet Antshrike

The Russet Antshrike, Thamnistes anabatinus, is a passerine bird in the antbird family. It is the only member of the genus Thamnistes.

Distribution / Breeding

It is a resident breeder in the tropical New World from southern Mexico to northern Bolivia.

It is a bird of forest, old second growth, semi-open woodland and edges up to 1500 m altitude. The female lays two brown-speckled white eggs in a deep cup nest 7-15 m high in a tree, usually in a semi-open location. Nest-building, incubation, and care of the young are shared by both sexes.


The Russet Antshrike is a small antbird, typically 14 cm long and weighing 21 g.

It has a heavy hooked bill and brown upperparts becoming rufous on the wings and tail. There is a dark eyestripe and a buff supercilium (line above each eye). The underparts are olive buff.

Males and females look alike, but the male has a concealed rufous-orange patch in the centre of his back.

Young birds are similar to the adults, but have rufous fringes to the wing coverts and are paler below.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a squeaky sweek, and the song is cheep cheep CHEEP CHEEP cheep.

Diet / Feeding

The Russet Antshrike feeds on insects and other arthropods, which it gleans from foliage like a vireo. It may be seen alone, in pairs, or with tanagers and warblers in mixed-species feeding flocks

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