tyrant flycatchers

October 6, 2017 - Chocolate-vented Tyrant (Neoxolmis rufiventris)

These large tyrant-flycatchers are found in southeastern South America, breeding in the Patagonian Steppe and wintering in the Pampas. They eat insects, including beetles, and small vertebrates, such as lizards. Building bowl-shaped nests, they line them with grasses and feathers. They perform flight displays that are more similar to those of shorebirds than to other tyrant-flycatchers and sometimes forage with Tawny-throated Dotterels.


Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant | Source

July 16, 2017 - Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrant (Myiornis ecaudatus)

One of the smallest songbirds in the world, these tiny tyrant flycatchers are found in parts of Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. They eat insects, foraging mostly in the forest canopy alone or in pairs. Their nests are ball-shaped with side entrances and constructed from moss and fibers. Their calls are described as insect or frog-like.


White-headed Marsh Tyrant (Arundinicola leucocephala)

…a small species of tyrant flycatcher (Tyrannidae) that is the sole member of the genus Arundinicola. White-headed marsh tyrants breed in tropical South America, ranging from Colombia, Venezuela and Trinidad south to Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. True to their common names white-headed marsh tyrants typically inhabit marshy savannas, reedbeds, and the edges of mangrove swamps. Like other flycatchers they feed almost exclusively on insects which are caught in typical flycatcher fashion


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Image(s): Dario Sanches

January 19, 2017 - Austral Negrito, Patagonian Negrito, Rufous-backed Negrito, or Southern Rufous-backed Negrito (Lessonia rufa)

These tyrant flycatchers are found in southern South America, breeding in Chile and Argentina and migrating north for the winter. They eat a variety of small insects, including mites, springtails, and flies, running along the ground and occasionally capturing prey in short bursts of flight. Females lay their eggs in nests built from twigs and roots on the ground or on cliff ledges. Males leave for migration earlier than females, which migrate with their chicks.

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”.

March 20, 2017 - Sharp-tailed Tyrant or Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant (Culicivora caudacuta)

These tyrant flycatchers are found in northern Bolivia, southern Brazil, and parts of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Their preferred habitat is older grassland, with grass of up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall. Though their diet is primarily insects, they also feed on grass and other plant seeds, unlike other tyrant flycatchers. Often seen alone or in pairs, they are sometimes observed in small groups of between three and seven birds. Their elaborate cup-shaped nests are constructed in clumps of grass. Listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, their population is decreasing due to habitat loss and degradation caused by farming, overgrazing, and frequent fires.

June 10, 2017 - Grey-headed Tody-Flycatcher or Yellow-lored Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum poliocephalum)

These small tyrant-flycatchers are found in southeastern Brazil. They eat insects, including beetles, ants, flies, moths, and butterflies, foraging in dense vegetation and snapping their prey from underneath leaves. Little is known about their breeding and nesting behaviors, but they are thought to be monogamous. They are often seen in pairs or small groups and rarely join mixed-species flocks.

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

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.

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.

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.


Common Tody-Flycatcher (Todirostrum cinereum)

Also known as the Black-fronted Tody-flycatcher, the common tody-flycatcher is a small species of tyrant flycatcher (Tyrannidae) that ranges from southern Mexico to northwestern Peru, eastern Bolivia and southern Brazil. Common tody-flycatchers typically inhabit forests, woodlands, gardens, plantations and arid areas and will feed on small arthropods by quickly picking them off vegetation. 



Images: Joseph C Boone and Dario Sanches

Masked Water Tyrant (Fluvicola nengeta)

….a species of tyrant flycatcher (Tyrannidae) that is native to South America, with major populations occurring in eastern and southeastern Brazil, and on the Pacific side of South America from western Ecuador to northwestern Peru. Masked water tyrants typically inhabit subtropical and tropical mangrove forests, tropical moist shrubland, and heavily degraded former forests. Like other tyrant flycatchers F. nengeta feeds mainly on insects and will forage in waterside vegetation.


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Image: Daniel Cardoso