Elusive jewels of the Neotropical undergrowth, antpittas are among the most sought-after of all bird groups. These forest birds specialise in following their primary food source – invertebrates stirred up by columns of ants – and they often keep close to the ground as a result. More likely to be heard than seen, antpittas are relatively poorly studied by ornithologists due to their habitat, behaviour and, in many cases, their rarity.
This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification series, is the first book dedicated solely to the world's antpittas, the family Grallariidae. It also includes the gnateaters (Conopophagidae), a small family of 11 species that, like antpittas, are also native to Central and South America. Antpittas and Gnateaters discusses the identification and habits of these birds, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 250 colour photographs, and 24 superb plates that illustrate age and racial plumage differences.
Antpittas and Gnateaters is the ultimate reference on these remarkable and beautiful birds, and will be indispensible for anyone interested in the birds of the Neotropics.
Harold F. Greeney is a natural historian, 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and the creator of the Yanayacu Biological Station & Center for Creative studies in Ecuador. He has a particular interest in antpittas and gnateaters, for which he has described the first nests of several species, and is an active and regular contributor to the ornithological and entomological literature.
David Beadle is an artist from Canada with a great knowledge of South America and her birds. His previous books include New World Warblers (Helm, 2002) and Sparrows of the United States and Canada (Academic Press, 2002).
"[...] Overall, Antpittas and Gnateaters makes a major contribution to Neotropical ornithology and both the author, Harold Greeney, and artist, David Beadle, have produced a very impressive piece of work. Although this book is part of the Helm Identification Guide series, it is clearly not a book that you would want to take into the field on any trip, but rather a very detailed synthesis of what is known about antpittas and gnateaters. It is the work of someone who is clearly incredibly enthusiastic about his subject of interest, the breeding biology of a small subset of Neotropical birds, and as such it is particularly focused on this subject. Hence, it is not a book that the majority of birders are likely to want to buy. It is, however, a very useful reference book for ornithologists and birders who are particularly interested in Neotropical birds or avian breeding biology. I certainly learnt a considerable amount from dipping into the Species Accounts whilst undertaking this review."
– Frank Lambert (18-04-2020), read the full review at The Birder's Library
"[...] Overall, this is a phenomenally researched book and is the fruit of a dedicated professional life to this most wonderful of families. The overall production makes it a true collector's item and a volume that should sit proudly on any bookshelf. For all those that have had the fortune to encounter an antpitta somewhere on their travels, this book will certainly bring back some fond memories. For those that haven't, it will no doubt serve as inspiration to one day set sights on a member of this extraordinary group of birds."