Family Tityras and allies (Tityridae)


Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus swainsoni)


French: Porte-éventail de Swainson German: Orangebrust-Kronenbekarde Spanish: Mosquero real del Atlántico

Muscivora Swainsoni


, 1858,

Juan Fernández; error = Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Usually treated as conspecific with O. coronatus, O. mexicanus and O. occidentalis. Differs from coronatus in larger overall size (effect size for tail in males 4.03 [but n=4 swainsoni], score 2); plain smoky-rufous underparts vs densely olive-barred breast (3); and mid-chestnut vs very dark olive-brown head sides, neck sides, mantle and back (3). Differs from mexicanus in its somewhat smaller size with notably shorter bill (effect size in males –4.29 [but n=4 swainsoni], score 2); plain smoky-rufous underparts vs densely olive-spotted or olive-barred breast with palish rufous belly (3); dully rufous vs olive-brown head sides, neck sides, mantle and back (2); and white-tinged rusty vs strongly white chin and throat (ns[2]). Differs from occidentalis in characters outlined under that species. Also distinctive in call, which is significantly shorter (effect size 4.9; score 2) and higher-pitched (effect size also 4.9; score 2) than that of other taxa. Monotypic.


SE Brazil (S Bahia; S Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro S to E São Paulo, E Paraná and NE Santa Catarina#R).

Descriptive notes

16·5 cm; 15·5–23·5 g. Within range a wholly distinctive and unusually-shaped “flycatcher”, although basic morphology is very similar to that of other Onychorhynchus... read more


Like other Onychorhynchus, not especially vocal. Gives a semi-whistled “preee-o” or “keee-... read more


Lower levels of evergreen forest, mature secondary growth and forest borders, including the... read more

Food and feeding

Diet virtually unknown, but presumably largely or exclusively insectivorous. Usually solitary and often perches motionless (or nearly so)... read more


Breeds in the austral spring, with several clutches of eggs collected in Oct (Santa Catarina), four active nests recorded with and without... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Confined to the dwindling and severely fragmented forests of SE Brazil (possibly also an old record from Goiás); a report from SE Paraguay is erroneous. Range... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus swainsoni). 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 14 December 2019).