Batará de Cocha/Cocha Antshrike/Thamnophilus praecox

Foto: Diego Calderón

Nombre en español: Batará de Cocha

Nombre en inglés: Cocha Antshrike

Nombre científico: Thamnophilus praecox

Familia: Thamnophilidae

Canto: Peter Boesman

El batará de Cocha​ o batará de conchas (en Ecuador) (Thamnophilus praecox), también conocido como choca común, es una especie de ave paseriforme perteneciente al numeroso género Thamnophilus de la familia Thamnophilidae.

Cocha Antshrike, Thamnophilus praecox en el río Cuacayá en el lado colombiano del Putumayo encontrada en el 2016 por Jurgen Beckers, Ottavio Janni, y Flor Peña Una nueva incorporación a la lista colombiana!

Distribución y hábitat

Se distribuye en una pequeña región del noreste de Ecuador a lo largo del río Napo y sus afluentes (en el este de Napo y este de Sucumbíos).

Esta especie es bastante común pero muy local en el sotobosque de bosques de várzea, principalmente en enmarañados, a lo largo de ríos de aguas obscuras, abajo de los 300 m de altitud.

Estado de conservación

El batará de Cocha ha sido calificado como «casi amenazado» por la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (IUCN), debido a que su zona de distribución es muy pequeña y, por lo tanto, moderadamente susceptible a eventos estocásticos y a los impactos de la acción humana.

Foto: Nick Athanas


Descripción original

La especie T. praecox fue descrita originalmente por el ornitólogo estadounidense John Todd Zimmer en 1937, bajo el mismo nombre científico. La localidad tipo fue «desembocadura de Lagarto Cocha, Napo, Ecuador.»


El nombre genérico «Thamnophilus» deriva del griego «thamnos»: arbusto y «philos»: amante; «amante de arbustos»; y el nombre de la especie «praecox», proviene del latín «praecox» o «praecocis»: prematuro, precoz.


Está hermanada con Thamnophilus nigriceps. Es monotípica.

Foto: Nick Athanas

Cocha antshrike

The cocha antshrike (Thamnophilus praecox) is a species of bird in the family Thamnophilidae.

Ex-Ecuadorian endemic Cocha Antshrike, Thamnophilus praecox in the Cuacayá River on the Colombian side of the Putumayo… found here a year or so ago by Jurgen Beckers, Ottavio Janni, and Flor Peña … what a neat NEW addition to the Colombian list! 

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Cocha Antshrike is a very intriguing species in the genus Thamnophilus that, until relatively recently, was known form a single female specimen from northeastern Ecuador. Then, in the late 1980s, the species was “re-discovered” and the male, which had been undescribed to science, was found for the first time. It is now considered uncommon and local along slow-moving streams, and in flooded forest in extreme northeastern Ecuador. It is found in isolated pairs, and is often seen foraging low over water on exposed roots. Males are entirely black, with almost black facial skin around the eye. Females are entirely chestnut brown, with a black hood and breast. Males and females most similar in plumage to White-shouldered Antbird (Akletos melanoceps). Males differ by lacking the “white” shoulders and blue facial skin of White-shouldered Antbird, while female Cocha Antshrike also lack the blue facial skin. Although very similarly plumaged, the two species have radically different vocalizations. The primary song of Cocha Antshrike is a rapid series of 10-15 hollow notes, “oow-oow-oow-oow-oow-oow-oow-oow…,” compared to the mellow titmouse-like “peter-peter-peter” of White-shouldered Antbird. Also, as in other species of Thamnophilus antshrikes, males sit upright and “pump” their tails while calling. Not yet found in adjacent Peru.


16 cm. Male is entirely black except for white underwing-coverts. Female has head, throat and upper breast black, throat sometimes faintly streaked white along shafts, remaining plumage cinnamon-rufous, underparts slightly paler.

Systematics History

Sister relationship to T. nigriceps corroborated by genetic analysis. Monotypic.




NE Ecuador locally along R Napo and its tributaries (in E Napo and E Sucumbíos).


Understorey of lowland, seasonally flooded, evergreen forest, at 200–250 m. Apparently confined to black-water drainages, where it inhabits dense shrubby streamside thickets and tangles, often containing Cecropia and Heliconia.


Presumed resident.

Diet and Foraging

Little recorded. Assumed to feed primarily on insects and other arthropods. Individuals or pairs forage low in dense thickets along black-water streams, progressing by short hops, with pauses of up to several seconds to scan for prey. One individual was seen to pick a large caterpillar off a leaf and take this to the ground to beat it, before swallowing.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Loudsong a rapidly delivered (too fast to count), moderately long (e.g. 18 notes, 2·5 seconds) series of deep, hollow, although somewhat liquid notes, constant in pitch, intensity and pace; also delivers similar notes in a more rapid series in which first note lengthened and firmly accented. Call is mellow and often given in doublets.


Nothing known.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened. Currrently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Upper Amazon-Napo Lowlands EBA. Long known only from a single female specimen, this species was rediscovered in 1990 at Imuya Cocha, near the type locality. Subsequently found to be fairly common in that area, with smaller numbers present S of R Aguarico at Zancudo Cocha and near R Pacuyacu, at La Selva and Sacha Lodges, and S of R Napo near Pompeya. Seemingly a low-density species confined to black-water drainages, but with no immediate threats. Habitat degradation resulting from expansion of petroleum exploration in the Napo basin could represent a future threat.

Fuentes: Wikipedia/eBird/xeno-canto/Birds of the world

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