Black-faced Antthrush, Formicarius analis, antthrush, antbird, bird, costa rica

Black-faced Antthrush (Formicarius analis)

I’ve just returned home from a trip to Costa Rica. One of the highlights of my trip was being fortunate enough to encounter an ant swarm in the forest at Carara National Park, which is on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Finding an ant swarm is something of a ‘holy grail’ for Neotropical bird watchers, as the leading front of such a swarm is accompanied by various species of birds, all of whom have evolved to become specialists in feeding off the many insects which are trying to escape the oncoming line of ants. One such bird is the Black-faced Antthrush (Formicarius analis), pictured here. Getting such a photo is pretty challenging-low light conditions in the forest understory mean that you have to use a high ISO setting (hence the grainy image), the birds are constantly moving, there are many small branches and leaves that obscure your view and, of course, you have to keep a wary eye on the advancing army of ants!

4 responses »

  1. Wonderful shot – and good timing!


  2. laura lecce says:

    Hi Phil,
    Sounds like you had a great time! I love this photo even though its grainy. I love that the bird’s colors are almost a stronger version of the background colors, so its in harmony with the background but also grabs your eye. Beautiful!


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