Bird of the Week, April 8, 2011
Chestnut-capped Piha

Snowy Plover by Greg Lavaty

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Like other pihas, the Chestnut-capped is plain in appearance, but will grab your attention with its loud and piercing calls. This species is further identifiable by its uniform grey color, yellow orbital ring and gape, chestnut crown, and undertail coverts.


First discovered in 2001 by ABC partner Fundación ProAves, the piha was quickly listed as Critically Endangered due to its small population and the threats to its remaining habitat. It also qualifies as an Alliance for Zero Extinction species because its global distribution is limited to a tiny patch of remnant forest in the Central Andes of Colombia.


In 2006, ProAves, with support from ABC, established the Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve to help stabilize and perhaps increase the species' population. In an exciting new development, ProAves is now expanding the reserve from 1,700 acres to 5,300 acres thanks to the timely support of ABC and World Land Trust-US. We will update you when the new acquisitions are completed later this year.


The Chesnut-capped Piha Reserve is ideal for ecotourism, with opportunities to see the piha and many other endemic, endangered species, including the Red-bellied Grackle, Black Tinamou, and Multi-colored Tanager, and migrants such as the Cerulean Warbler. Watch a video of the Chesnut-capped Piha and Reserve.


Learn more and donate to help ABC and ProAves efforts
to save the Chesnut-capped Piha

Photo: Chestnut-capped Piha by ProAves; Range Map: ABC