Liosceles thoracicus


Physical characteristics: The rusty-belted tapaculo is one of the larger tapaculos. They are about 7.5 inches (19 centimeters) long and weigh about 1.5 ounces (42 grams). Rusty-belted tapaculos live on the forest floor. Their dark gray-brown back helps them blend in well with their environment. Their throat and breast are white, with a rusty reddish breast band that gives them their name. They have a black, white, and rusty pattern on their undersides.

Geographic range: Rusty-belted tapaculos live in South America in southeastern Colombia, western Brazil, and neighboring parts of Peru and Ecuador.

Habitat: Unlike many tapaculos that prefer higher, cooler elevations, rusty-belted tapaculos live in humid lowland rainforests on the forest floor.

Diet: Like all tapaculos, these birds eat insects. They feed by walking or hopping slowly along the forest floor looking for prey.

Behavior and reproduction: Rusty-belted tapaculos build underground nests among the roots of trees. Little is known about their reproductive behavior, because they are shy and difficult to observe.

Rusty-belted tapaculos and people: These birds have little interaction with people and are rarely seen. They are of interest mainly to ornithologists and birdwatchers.

Conservation status: Rusty-belted tapaculos are not threatened or in danger of extinction. ■

Rusty-belted tapaculos live in humid lowland rainforests on the forest floor. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)


Ridgley, Robert S., and Guy Tudor. The Birds of South America. Vol 2, The Suboscine Passerines. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994.

Web sites:

"Birds, Mammals, and Amphibians of Latin America." NatureServe. (accessed on May 4, 2004).

Robertson, Don. "Bird Families of the World." [email protected] Bay. (accessed on May 4, 2004).


Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Tyrannidae

Number of species: About 420 species

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