tyrant flycatchers


Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant | Source

Cliff Flycatcher (Hirudinea ferruginea)

…a species of Tyrant Flycatcher (Tyrannidae)  that is the sole member of the monotypic genus Hirudinea, however the swallow flycatcher (H. f. bellicosa) is sometimes given fully species status. Cliff flycatchers are generally only seen east of the Andes mountain range, where it ranges down to central Argentina west of the Pampas, and east of the Pampas to southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay; Also southeast of the Amazon Basin in the Brazilian Highlands, to the Atlantic and south Atlantic coast of Brazil. Cliff flycatchers typically inhabit subtropical or tropical dry/moist lowland forests and sub/tropical moist montane forests. Like most flycatchers they feed mainly on insects which are caught by “hawking”. 


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Image: Dario Sanches

Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher, Poecilotriccus plumbeiceps

Today in tiny and unbelievably-cute birds, we have one of the tody-tyrant/tody-flycatcher complex: teensy, colorful flycatchers with heads and bills that are too large for their miniscule bodies.

These birds aren’t to be confused with the true todies (Family Todidae), which are Coraciiforme birds that live in Central America and are decidedly more colorful than any of the Tyrannid “todies”.


the more ornithologically-minded among you may want to point out that there is a discrepancy in the post for saurophaganax.

it mentions that the dinosaur in question lost the right to its original name, saurophagus, when it was discovered that saurophagus was already in use by a genus of bird. that genus of bird, a type of tyrant flycatcher, is no longer called saurophagus, but rather has been reclassified as pitangus and is more commonly referred to as the “great kiskadee.” it is mostly found in central and south america.

the end of the initial saurophaganax post includes a link to a picture of a bird that is not the original saurophagus, but is rather todirhamphous saurophagus, a different lizard-eating bird more commonly referred to as a beach kingfisher. (note saurophagus is the species name, not the genus.) it is mostly found in southeast asia and indonesia.

they both popped up on google, and, understanding the difference between these birds, i intentionally chose todirhamphous saurophagus because it was funnier to look at. because this is a humor blog. and if any of us learn something, it’s purely by accident.

stay sad. especially you frustrated ornithologists.

Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca)

…a species of Monarch Flycatcher (Monarchidae) that occurs in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and parts of Papua New Guinea. Satin flycatchers typically inhabit temperate forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, where like the unrelated tyrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae) they will feed mainly on insects and other invertebrates which are caught by “hawking”. 


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Image: Aviceda

September 1, 2016 - White Monjita (Xolmis irupero)

Found in savannas and grasslands of eastern South America, including Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil, these tyrant flycatchers also have an isolated population in eastern Brazil. Usually foraging from a prominent perch, they may hover over their insect prey before dropping onto it. During their breeding season, between September and December, they build large cup-shaped nests from twigs, grasses, and other materials.

March 9, 2016 - Crested Black Tyrant (Knipolegus lophotes)

These tyrant flycatchers are found in a large range through parts of Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Living in open savanna, scrubland, and pasture land, they are usually found in pairs. They feed on insects, catching them in the air, and sometimes also eat small fruits. Their cup-shaped nests are constructed from fibrous plants. Unlike in most other species of their genus, males and females look similar.

White-throated Spadebill (Platyrinchus mystaceus)

…a small species of tyrant flycatcher (Tyrannidae) which breeds from Costa Rica through South America to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northeastern Argentina. It also known to occur in Trinidad and Tobago as well. White-throated spadebills typically inhabit secondary forests with thick tangled undergrowth and medium-sized trees. To feed they move rapidly through the undergrowth, feeding on a range of small arthropods. 


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Image: Dario Sanches

May 24, 2016 - Streamer-tailed Tyrant (Gubernetes yetapa)

These flycatchers are found in parts of Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. They eat arthropods, flying low over the ground in marshy areas to capture their prey. Pairs perform courtship displays together, lowering their heads and fanning their tails, then raising their heads, lowering their tails, and spreading their wings, while calling to each other.