Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Shrike-tyrant (Agriornis montanus)


French: Gaucho à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabel-Hakentyrann Spanish: Gaucho serrano

P[epoaza]. Montana

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Chuquisaca, Bolivia


Race intermedius likely to be clinal variant of insolens, nominate and maritimus, as, phenotypically and geographically, it intergrades with these three races and does not show constant set of diagnosable features. Proposed races leucurus (Patagonia) and fumosus (Sierras de Córdoba, in NC Argentina) inseparable from maritimus. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. solitarius P. L. Sclater, 1859 – Andes of S Colombia (Nariño) and Ecuador.
  • A. m. insolens P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1869 – temperate zone of Andes of Peru.
  • A. m. intermedius Hellmayr, 1927 – Andes of W Bolivia (La Paz, Oruro) and extreme N Chile (NE Tarapacá).
  • A. m. montanus (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Andes of C & S Bolivia and NW Argentina (Jujuy S to Tucumán and La Rioja).
  • A. m. maritimus (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Andes of C & S Chile (Tarapacá to Magallanes) and WC & SW Argentina (W Mendoza to W Santa Cruz); also C Argentina in hills of Córdoba, S Buenos Aires and Somuncará Plateau.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–24 cm. Nominate race has indistinct whitish supraloral stripe, narrow and broken buffish-white supercilium; cheek white, streaked dark brown; mainly dark greyish-... read more


    Sometimes fairly vocal, especially at dawn, though often silent: call a loud, whistled “wheee,... read more


    Mainly high open places in Andes. Wide-ranging in open grassy and agricultural areas with scattered... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large insects, small mammals, lizards, frogs, eggs or nestlings of other birds, and seeds. Perches conspicuously on rocky outcrops or... read more


    Nests found in Dec–Jan in Argentina; eggs in Nov in N & C Chile; nestlings in Oct in S Peru (Arequipa); juveniles in Dec–... read more


    Mainly resident, but populations of far S move N for winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common; most numerous and widespread member of genus in Andes. Occurs in e.g. Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary and Huascarán and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Black-billed Shrike-tyrant (Agriornis montanus). 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 6 December 2019).