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Conopophagidae – Gnateaters

Ash-throated Gnateater in Ecuador: Photo by Andres Vasquez Noboa

Conopophagidae, or gnateaters, are a small family of Neotropical birds primarily found in dense forests of Central and South America.

Overview of Conopophagidae

While their long legs and short tails hint at a terrestrial lifestyle, gnateaters predominantly inhabit the lower branches of forest understory. Their behavior is characterized by frenetic movements, darting about, flicking wings and tails, and agilely pouncing to capture prey. Their vocal repertoire ranges from single syllables to accelerating trills, encompassing guttural whistles and sibilant shrieks.