male; slaty-grey body with white marks; hooked bill (Panama; 2008-06-16)

Northern Slaty Antshrike
Thamnophilus punctatus

Native Range: South America and Middle America

Notes: this species belongs to a huge "antbird" family (Thamnophilidae, with more than 200 species) that often forms mixed-species flocks that sometimes forage by following columns of army ants and eating insects disturbed by the latter; various species in this family are called "antvireos", "antwrens", or "antshrikes" when they resemble vireos, wrens, or shrikes, respectively; all of these species are basically rainforest birds of the Americas where they reach their highest species diversity in the tropics; many species can also be found in other habitats too, such as scrubby forests and forest edges; when not part of mixed-species flocks, antbirds are territorial and often are seen in pairs, especially when breeding.

blacker on crown as well as on wings and tail (Panama; 2008-06-16)

ventral view; slaty-grey underparts also (Panama; 2008-06-16)

dorsal view; white spots and streaks are evident (Panama; 2008-06-16)

female; brown wherever the male is grey (Panama; 2008-06-16)

ventral view; plain brown below; spots under tail (Panama; 2008-06-16)

dorsal view; brown above with white wing spots (Panama; 2008-06-16)

male posing for a portrait (Panama; 2008-06-16)