Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-backed Water-tyrant (Fluvicola albiventer)


French: Moucherolle à dos noir German: Schwarzrücken-Wassertyrann Spanish: Viudita dorsinegra

Muscicapa albiventer


, 1825,

Bahia, Brazil


See F. pica. Monotypic.


NC & E Brazil (lower Amazon region and Maranhão E to Rio Grande do Norte, S locally to Mato Grosso do Sul and W São Paulo) S to E Bolivia, Paraguay, N Argentina (S to La Rioja, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires) and W Uruguay; occurs also in W Amazonian Brazil, SE Peru and N Bolivia in non-breeding season.

Descriptive notes

14 cm. Male has very distinctive plumage, with black upperparts and white underparts: white head, and contrasting black hindcrown and nape; mostly black above, with variable... read more


Call “tika”.


Marshes and nearby shrubby vegetation, and beside rivers and oxbow lakes; mostly below 1000 m.

Food and feeding

Insects. Usually quite bold, sometimes even inquisitive. Forages on or near ground, often moving out on to floating and emergent vegetation... read more


Oct–Feb in Argentina. Performs prenuptial flights. Nest a sphere with side opening near top, entrance concealed by “porch”, rather... read more


Partial migrant. Some post-breeding migration W into W Amazonian Brazil, SE Peru and N Bolivia,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Occurs in a number of national parks and other protected areas; has been recorded in Manu National Park and... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Black-backed Water-tyrant (Fluvicola albiventer). 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 10 December 2019).