Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus)


French: Microtyran à calotte noire German: Schwarzkappen-Zwergtyrann Spanish: Mosqueta capirotada

Orchilus atricapillus


, 1875,

Talamanca, Costa Rica


Formerly separated in genus Perissotriccus, along with M. ecaudatus; in past, these two were often treated as conspecific, but present species differs in its black vs mid-grey cap (3); much brighter and more extensive white on lores back to eye (2); pale grey vs olive-green wash on neck and breast sides (2); and generally clearer breast (ns). Monotypic.


Caribbean slope of extreme SE Nicaragua#R#R and Costa Rica to C Panama, both slopes of E Panama, NC & W Colombia and NW Ecuador (NW Pichincha).

Descriptive notes

6·5 cm; 5 g. Tiny, one of the smallest passerines, with almost tail-less appearance. Male has black crown, prominent white supraloral spot and white “spectacles”, slate-grey... read more


High-pitched and ventriloquial, insect-like or frog-like; typically, a soft trilled, purr-like call... read more


Lower and middle growth of humid forest, forest gaps and edges, shrubby growth in clearings, also... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach contents in Costa Rica included 205 items, of which homopteran bugs 26%, beetles (Coleoptera) 25%, arachnids 15%, hymenopterans 13... read more


Eggs in late Mar in Panama and mid-Apr in Costa Rica. Bag-like domed nest c. 15 cm long, 9 cm in diameter, with side entrance in middle and... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common, but often overlooked. Occurs in Tinigua National Park, in Colombia, and Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve... read more

Recommended citation

Clock, B. (2019). Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus). 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).