Western Woodhaunter Automolus virgatus

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Identification

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This fairly small brown bird is a shy forest-dwelling species; it is usually seen in the lower or middle levels of the forest interior. Most similar to foliage-gleaners, which can be very similar in plumage. Look for the woodhaunter’s blurry buffy streaking on the head and breast, rather long straight bill, and lack of a pale eyebrow. Does not climb up tree trunks like a woodcreeper, but forages by hopping around tangles, mosses, and vines, rummaging around looking for invertebrates. Most often seen singly or in pairs, sometimes accompanying mixed-species flocks. Listen for series of hard nasal chips, and grating scold calls. Occurs from eastern Nicaragua to western Ecuador.

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