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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X

Acta biol.Colomb. vol.20 no.1 Bogotá Jan./Apr. 2015 


Nota breve


Una nueva población del Tororoi Cabecirufo (Grallaricula cucullata: Grallaridae) para los Andes de Colombia

Oscar Humberto MARÍN-GÓMEZ1, Juliana Marcela POLANCO2, Daniel ARANGO GIRALDO2, Albert OSPINA DUQUE3.

1 Grupo de Ornitología (GOUN), Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá D. C., Colombia.
2 Programa de Licenciatura en Biología y Educación Ambiental, Universidad del Quindío. Armenia, Colombia.
3 Programa de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Quindío. Avenida Bolívar Calle 12 norte. Armenia, Colombia.
For correspondence.

Received 10th March 2014, Returned for revision 15th Apri 2014, accepted 15th May 2014.

Citation / Citar este artículo como: Marín-GómezOH, PolancoJM, Arango GiraldoD, Ospina DuqueA.A New Population of the Hooded Antpitta (Grallaricula cucullata: Grallaridae) for the Colombian Central Andes. Acta biol. Colomb. 2015;20(1):229-232 doi:


We report a new population of the Hooded Anpitta (Grallariculla cucullata) in the Central Andes of Colombia, a threatened bird species inhabiting montane cloud forests in Colombian and Venezuelan Andes. We present capture-rate data, which suggest the occurrence of a resident with the highest population size reported for this bird species.

Keywords: Colombian Andes, Grallaricula, Quindío, threatened species.


Presentamos una nueva población del Tororoi Cabecirrufo (Grallariculla cucullata), una especie de ave amenazada de los bosques montanos nublados de los Andes de Colombia y Venezuela. Presentamos datos de tasas de captura que indican la presencia de una población residente con el tamaño poblacional más alto reportado para la especie.

Palabras clave: Andes colombianos, especies amenazadas, Grallaricula, Quindío.

The small birds of the genus Grallaricula comprise eight species that inhabit Andean forests of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The natural history for most species of this genus is scarce (Krabbe and Schulenberg, 2003; Niklison et al., 2008). The Hooded Antpitta, Grallariculla cucullata (Sclater, 1856), is found in Colombia and Venezuela, and it is hard to see because of small size and sudden movements. There are only few vouchers of this species in ornithological collections and some field observations (Gertler, 1977; Ridgely and Tudor, 1994; Salaman et al., 2002; Downing, 2005; Salaman et al., 2007; Ayerbe-Quiñones et al., 2008). Currently, the Hooded Antpitta is categorized as vulnerable worldwide (Birdlife International, 2011); however, it is considered as near threatened in Colombia, where its numbers have decreased due to deforestation (Renjifo et al., 2002). It is a small plump Antpitta with bright orange bill, bright orange-rufous head and throat, olive-brown above, grey below with narrow white crescent across chest, white belly, and lower breast (Hilty and Brown, 1986; Ridgely and Tudor, 1994). This species can be more usually detected by mist netting than by direct sights and their voice is unknown (Ridgely and Tudor, 1994).

The Hooded Antpitta inhabits dense understory of humid Andean montane mature and secondary forests between 1500 and 2700 m a.s.l., and it has a discontinuous distribution in the three Andes ranges of Colombia (G. cucullata cucullata) and in Táchira and Apure states, Venezuela (G. cucullata venezuelana) (Hilty and Brown, 1986; Ridgely and Tudor, 1994; Birdlife International, 2011). In Colombia, its range extends from Cauca to Antioquia department (Fig. 1). Records of this species are based on field collections, with most records in Cauca and Huila (Fig. 1, Table 1). Local extinctions have been reported for the Hooded Antpitta in the Farallones de Cali (Collar et al., 1992), but there are recent reports near to this locality (Downing and Hickman, 2004). Here, we present a new population for the Hooded Antpitta in the Central Andes.

This species was previously reported by Arbeláez-Cortés et al., (2011) in Quindío department, but in this work, we present the evidence of the highest population size found for this species.

Between February and June 2010 at the Finca Los Andes, Vereda Boquia, Municipality of Salento, Quindío Department, on the western slope of Central Andes of Colombia (4#º41'N 75#º 33'W, 2400 m a.s.l.), we found a small permanent population of Hooded Antpitta (Fig. 2). The area comprises 262 ha of fragmented natural forests intermixed with Pinus spp., and Eucalyptus sp. plantations, near to La Patasola Natural Reserve, which are owned by Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia (Fig. 2). We set up ten mist nets for four days twice a month, in different sites of secondary and mature forests (2630 hours/net). We caught ten individuals of G. cucullata, one of them recaptured. The tip of one tail feather of each bird was cut to facilitate the individual recognition. Then, birds were released near sites of captures.

None caught bird showed any evidence of breeding or molting. We detected the Hooded Antpitta mainly during the mist netting and in one occasion, an individual was observed in the understory, perching near the ground. Almost all individuals were caught in mature forests (90% of total) and during the mornings between 6:30h to 10:30h (80% of the total). We caught between one to five birds per sampling, with a higher rate on May 16 when four adults and a sub adult were caught, indicating that this species is resident and breeding in the area.

The high rate of captures of G. cucullata in this locality contrasts with the low number of reports in other localities (Bohórquez, 2002; Renjifo et al., 2002; Salaman et al., 2002; Downing, 2005), where only one to six individuals were caught during a short sampling period or during several years. For example, in Serranía de los Churumbelos, Cauca (3800 hours/net) four individuals were captured (Salaman et al., 2002); in Ucumarí Natural Reserve, Risaralda (unknown effort), six individuals were banded between April 1998 and February 1999 (W. Beltran, data unpublished); in Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, Huila, two individuals were captured (2150 hours/net); and in Serranía de los Picachos, Caquetá (1136 hours/net) one bird was captured.

Our data could be indicating that the population size of the Hooded Antpitta in Salento, Quindío is relatively high. In that way, our record is key because this area is important for conservation of a permanent population of this species as it is located in the Important Bird Area La Patasola (IBA CO051) near to Los Nevados National Park. However, the Hooded Antpitta could be threatened as consequence of the increased timber extraction in pine plantations (Pinus sp.) carried out by Smurfit Kappa Carton Colombia in the study area. The information collected in this study suggests that the species might have a continuous distribution in the Central Andes of Colombia, and it is can be also found in other Andean forests (Fig. 1), that have not been explored in detail.


We thank the Smurfit Kappa Carton Colombia and Universidad del Quindío for logistical and financial support to work in Salento, Quindío. We thank Jhose Snaider Granada, Juliana Cardona, Natalia Suarez, Gloria Álvarez, Jenny Gómez and Eliana Quintana, for invaluable field assistance. Jiyo's Family who provides permissions to work in the sampling area. We thank Enrique Arbeláez Cortes, Juan Pablo López, Andres Cuervo, Margarita López and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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