Melanopareiidae – Crescentchests

Collared Crescentchest (Melanopareia torquata) ©Arthur Grosset

Collared Crescentchest (Melanopareia torquata) ©Arthur Grosset

In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; (Isaiah 3:18 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Melanopareiidae – Crescentchests

Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (5)

Collared Crescentchest (Melanopareia torquata)
Double-collared Crescentchest (Melanopareia bitorquata)
Olive-crowned Crescentchest (Melanopareia maximiliani)
Maranon Crescentchest (Melanopareia maranonica)
Elegant Crescentchest (Melanopareia elegans)


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The crescentchests are a genus, Melanopareia, of birds from South America. The genus has long been placed with the tapaculos in the Rhinocryptidae family. Their placement there has been questioned and in 2007 the genus was placed in its own family, Melanopareiidae by the South American Classification Committee. Subsequently the family was accepted by the International Ornithological Congress Bird List and the Clements Checklist. The family Melanopareiidae was formerly erected in 2009.

The crescentchests have relatively long tails compared to the tapaculos. The plumage is striking with a distinctive band across the chest that gives the group their name.

The crescentchests are birds of arid scrub. They generally forage on the ground, but their diet has not yet been recorded. Two species, the Collared Crescentchest and Olive-crowned Crescentchest, are widely distributed across central and southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina, whilst the other two species, the Elegant Crescentchest and Marañón Crescentchest, have a more restricted distribution in Peru and Ecuador. (Wikipedia with editing)

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