Family Tityras and allies (Tityridae)

Least Concern

Black-and-white Becard (Pachyramphus albogriseus)


French: Bécarde pie German: Graurückenbekarde Spanish: Anambé blanquinegro

Pachyramphus albo-griseus

P. L. Sclater

, 1857,

“Bogotá”, Colombia


See P. marginatus; molecular data#R indicate that present species is closest to P. polychopterus. Racial identity of birds in NW Ecuador uncertain, as both guayaquilensis and salvini seem to occur there; some revision of races probably necessary. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. ornatus Cherrie, 1891 – Costa Rica and W Panama (Chiriquí and Veraguas, possibly farther E).
  • P. a. coronatus Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1953 – N Colombia (SW slope of Santa Marta Mts, Sierra de Perijá) and extreme NW Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá).
  • P. a. albogriseus P. L. Sclater, 1857 – NE Colombia (E slope of E Andes from N Norte de Santander S to N Boyacá) and N Venezuela (Andes from Lara S to S Táchira, also Yaracuy and Coastal Range from Carabobo E to W Sucre).
  • P. a. guayaquilensis J. T. Zimmer, 1936 – W Ecuador (W Esmeraldas and Manabí S, including Puna I, to Guayas and El Oro).
  • P. a. salvini Richmond, 1899 – SW Colombia (E Nariño), E Ecuador (apparently also crossing to Pacific slope in Carchi and Pichincha) and NW & C Peru (Pacific lowlands S to Lambayeque and Cajamarca, also E side of C Andes from Amazonas and San Martín S to Ayacucho and Cuzco).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14·5 cm; 18·5–26 g. Male has glossy black crown with slight bluish sheen, contrasting sharply with almost uniformly plain grey upperparts, pale grey line on... read more


    Typical song, by male, a fast series of whistled notes, “syoo-syoo-syoo-syoo-syoo-swee”, “chew-... read more


    Upper levels of understorey and mid-levels of canopy, and interior (occasionally borders) of humid... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and fruit. Singly or in pairs; regularly joins mixed-species flocks. Generally perches calmly, scanning foliage for prey, often... read more


    Mar–Apr in Costa Rica. Nest bulky and globular, entrance hole near bottom, composed mostly of dead leaves, with some moss, bits of... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Fairly common in Henri Pittier National Park, in Venezuela, and found also in Cerro Blanco Forest Reserve, Río... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2020). Black-and-white Becard (Pachyramphus albogriseus). 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 28 January 2020).