Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-capped Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus)


French: Tyranneau à tête noire German: Schwarzkappen-Kleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito capirotado

T[yrannulus]. nigro-capillus


, 1845,

“Bogotá”, Colombia


Long placed in Tyranniscus, along with P. cinereiceps and P. uropygialis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. n. flavimentum (Chapman, 1912) – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • P. n. nigrocapillus (Lafresnaye, 1845) – Andes of extreme W Venezuela (SW Táchira), Colombia (except Santa Marta), W & E Ecuador and NW & E Peru (on W slope S to Cajamarca, on E slope S to N Cuzco).
  • P. n. aureus (J. T. Zimmer, 1941) – Andes of W Venezuela (S Lara S to N Táchira).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5 cm. Nominate race has white loral spot and narrow supercilium, dark facial crescent bordered posteriorly by white; crown dark grey to blackish, sharply contrasting with... read more


    Emphatic series of clear, high-pitched notes, “tzi-tzi-tzrr” or “peeep, peeeep... read more


    Humid montane forest, especially dense, mossy cloudforest and open, mossy woodlands and edges of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, small fruits. Forages alone or in pairs, usually with mixed-species flocks, in middle to upper parts of trees in densest parts of... read more


    Birds with enlarged gonads in Mar–Nov in N Colombia. No other information.


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to locally common, but perhaps often overlooked; apparently less numerous in S (Peru). Often most common near tree-line, and in S Ecuador... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Black-capped Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus). 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 8 December 2019).