Capito niger Muller, 1776. Fifteen subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Cabйzon tachetй; German: Tupfenbartvogel; Spanish: Chaboclo Turero.
7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm); 0.8–0.9 oz (22–25 g)
West Colombia to Venezuela, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and east through Brazil north of the Amazon, but restricted to a small area south of that river.
Mostly in mature, lowland forest, both dry and wet floodplain forests; also upland forest, forest edge, gardens, orchards, plantations, and elfin mossy forest at high altitudes in Peru; forest patches in savanna and coastal forest in the Guianas.
Usually solitary or in pairs, foraging through canopy, sometimes descending to lower levels of forest; also joins roving bands of various flycatchers, woodcreepers, manakins, and tanagers. Typically acrobatic when feeding, searching leaf clusters, lichen, and old bark, often at tips of tiny branches and twigs.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Eats insects and fruit of many kinds; picks clusters of leaves to shreds and breaks into bunches of dead leaves to find insects, but 80% of food is fruit and oily seeds. Sometimes holds large fruit and tough insects with its feet and pecks them into pieces.
Song is commonly heard in tropical forest, a low-pitched, double note, “hoop-oop” repeated for 6–20 or even 60 seconds without a break, sometimes fading away or continued at a lower volume. Otherwise, courtship, display, and breeding cycle are little known. Both sexes excavate a cavity in a tree stump and 3–4 white eggs are laid; incubation by both parents, period unknown. Chicks fly when 34 days old and fed by parents for an additional 23 days or so.
Not threatened; generally common throughout its large range.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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