Western Chat-tanager Calyptophilus tertius


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a small population with a single subpopulation, which is declining owing to habitat loss through logging and conversion to agriculture. For these reasons the species is evaluated as Vulnerable.

Population justification
There is no data on population size, but the population is estimated to number 10,000-20,000 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,700-13,300 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species is thought to be declining and whilst there is no data on population change, tree cover across its range has declined by approximately 5% across three generations from 2003-2014 (Global Forest Watch 2016).

Distribution and population

Calyptophilus tertius occurs in southwest Haiti (Massif de la Hotte and Massif de la Selle) and adjacent southwest Dominican Republic.


It is largely terrestrial in broadleaf forest and dense thickets, especially in ravines and near water, but inhabits semi-arid scrub on Gonâve Island. It is primarily a montane species, occurring above 1,000 m, but locally to 800 m, (G. M. Kirwan in litt. 1998). Breeding probably occurs between May and July (Raffaele et al. 1998). It feeds chiefly on invertebrates, rather than fruit as implied by its specific name.


Agricultural conversion and logging are the principal threats to its habitat.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Macaya and La Visite National Parks, Haiti, and Sierra de Baoruco National Park, the Dominican Republic.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Effectively protect existing, and establish new, reserves.


17-20 cm. Curious, long-tailed, bicoloured understorey species. Dark brown above, white below. Yellow loral spot and carpal area. Similar spp. Virtually unmistakable. Two sympatric Turdus thrush species are similar sized and terrestrial, but both show much red. Voice Song is beautiful whistling chip-chip-swerp-swerp-swerp. Sharp check call. Hints Best located by song or calls, often sings from an elevated perch.


Text account compilers
Wheatley, H., Sharpe, C.J., Wege, D., Mahood, S., Khwaja, N., Isherwood, I., Pople, R.

Kirwan, G., Khwaja, N., Latta, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Calyptophilus tertius. Downloaded from on 06/04/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/04/2020.