Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Near Threatened

Bearded Tachuri (Polystictus pectoralis)


French: Tyranneau barbu German: Streifenkinn-Grastyrann Spanish: Tachurí barbado

Sylvia pectoralis


, 1817,



Relationship with P. superciliaris needs confirmation. Distinctive high-altitude race †bogotensis, now extinct, has been suggested (e.g. in HBW) as perhaps a separate species, although some individuals of brevipennis approach it in pattern and coloration#R. Two extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. bogotensis (Chapman, 1915) – very local in temperate zone in Cundinamarca (savannas of Bogotá) and Valle (upper Dagua Valley), in Colombia (recently extinct).
  • P. p. brevipennis (Berlepsch & E. J. O. Hartert, 1902) – E Colombia, SW, C & SE Venezuela, Guyana, S Suriname, N French Guiana and N Brazil (Roraima, NW Pará, Amapá).
  • P. p. pectoralis (Vieillot, 1817) – E Bolivia (Santa Cruz), S Brazil (locally S from Mato Grosso and S Minas Gerais S to Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay, N Argentina (S to Mendoza, La Pampa and Buenos Aires) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    8–10 cm; 6–8 g (brevi­pennis). Male nominate race has dusky grey to blackish crown, elongated feathers forming flattened bushy crest with semi-... read more


    Song a plaintive “wheee-whidididirrr” or “tee-tee-tee-teet”, sometimes ending in low, guttural... read more


    Campo, drier portions of native grassland, savanna with scattered shrubs, tall grass in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Inconspicuous; forages singly or in pairs, occasionally joins mixed flocks of other grassland birds. Perches on vertical stems;... read more


    Jun–Jul in E Colombia and Sept–Jan in Argentina and Brazil. Possibly polygynous; speculation that only female cares for young... read more


    Apparently an austral migrant; records from Bolivia and adjacent Brazil only during winter months.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Usually rare to uncommon, but perhaps often overlooked; very local, but fairly common in a few localities.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Bearded Tachuri (Polystictus pectoralis). 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 19 January 2020).