A mask of electric blue along with finely scalloped plumage render this prehistoric lookalike practically unmistakable – meet the ant bird

A spectacular forest-dweller, wearing an electric blue facial skin and pale scalloped plumage, renders this prehistoric lookalike completely unmistakable!

The ocellated ant bird (Phaenostictus mcleannani), is a species of ant bird in the Thamnophilidae family.

A mask of electric blue along with finely scalloped plumage render this prehistoric lookalike practically unmistakable – meet the ant bird

More than a little prehistoric-looking, this bird has a large area of bare, almost iridescent, bare blue-colored skin around each eye.

Plumage varies amongst each subspecies, however, overall they have a gray crown, black throat with a buff breast tapering to a spotted belly and back.

Males and females look very much alike, while juveniles look similar but lack the blue facial skin of the adults.

A mask of electric blue along with finely scalloped plumage render this prehistoric lookalike practically unmistakable – meet the ant bird

This bird can be found in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador.

They like to live in moist lowland forests, forested foothills, and tall secondary growth wooded areas.

Ocellated antbirds dine mainly on arthropods, insects, and small lizards. Their primary meal is obtained by following army ant trails, which flush other prey out of hiding places.

A mask of electric blue along with finely scalloped plumage render this prehistoric lookalike practically unmistakable – meet the ant bird

What is more interesting in the breeding process of this species is how a breeding pair form the center of a group, or clan, that includes their male offspring and their mates.

These groups team up to defend their territories against possible rivals.

nly recently has an open cup-shaped nest been described with a clutch of two eggs seen within.

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