Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Amazonian Black-tyrant (Knipolegus poecilocercus)


French: Ada d’Amazonie German: Várzeadunkeltyrann Spanish: Viudita amazónica

Empidochanes poecilocercus


, 1868,

Rio Amajaú, Rio Negro, Brazil


Sister to K. poecilurus, based on recent phylogenetic study#R. See also K. hudsoni. Monotypic.


E Colombia (W Meta) to S Venezuela (W Apure, Amazonas), W Guyana, Amazonian Brazil (along R Amazon, R Negro, R Branco, R Madeira, lower R Xingu and R Tocantins) and NE Peru (R Ucayali and adjacent R Amazon); also locally in NE Ecuador; recorded in Suriname#R.

Descriptive notes

12·7–13·5 cm; 14 g. Large eyes, long rictal bristles. Male is glossy black with slight bluish sheen; primaries tinged brownish, outer three short, narrow and pointed (... read more


Unusually quiet. Displaying male has faint clicking “tic-dik” or vaguely trebled “see-sa’lick” or... read more


Várzea forests, prefers dark vine tangles near open water; also damp thickets and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Usually solitary or in pairs, inconspicuous unless displaying; female sometimes associated loosely with mixed-species flocks.... read more


Nest-building in Feb in Venezuela (Hato Cedral) and Jul in Brazil. Displaying male, usually from thick vine, jumps vertically, calls, and... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare or uncommon to locally common; probably often overlooked. Occurs in Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve, in Venezuela, and Anavilhanas... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Amazonian Black-tyrant (Knipolegus poecilocercus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 November 2019).