Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Austral Negrito (Lessonia rufa)


French: Lessonie noire German: Patagoniensporntyrann Spanish: Negrito austral
Other common names: Patagonian Negrito

[Alauda] rufa

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Buenos Aires, Argentina


Formerly treated as conspecific with L. oreas (see below). Monotypic.


C Chile (Coquimbo) and C Argentina (Mendoza, La Pampa) S to Tierra del Fuego. Winters N Chile, S Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, SE Brazil and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

11·5–12·5 cm. Male is black with contrasting rufous­-chestnut back; iris dark; bill short, black; legs black; hindclaw exceptionally long, like that... read more


Usually silent; alarm a repeated “tjit-tjit”, contact note a short twitter.


Open areas with short grass, usually near marshes, coasts, lagoons and beaches; also pastures.... read more

Food and feeding

Small insects; a vagrant was observed feeding on acarids, springtails (probably Friesea grisea) and dipterans (Belgica... read more


Breeds Sept–Nov in Chile (but Oct–Jan on Tierra del Fuego), Oct–Jan in Argentina and Dec in Bolivia; probably two broods... read more


Migrates N after breeding, dispersing along coasts and then spreading inland across lowlands;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to locally abundant. Becoming increasingly common in S part of range. Occurs in all national parks along Patagonian... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A., Lebbin, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Austral Negrito (Lessonia rufa). 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 7 December 2019).