Family Tityras and allies (Tityridae)

Least Concern

Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor)


French: Tityre à tête noire German: Schwarzkappenbekarde Spanish: Titira piquinegro

L[anius]. Inquisitor

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

São Paulo, Brazil


In past, sometimes placed in a separate genus, Erator, with nominate race and erythrogenys then treated as forming one species, and pelzelni, albitorques and buckleyi as three further species. See also T. leucura (below). A further named form, selbii (S Brazil), appears inseparable from nominate. Although considerable variation exists among some races, exact limits and biological nature of such divergence require closer inspection; fraserii and albitorques appear to intergrade where they meet. Six subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. i. fraserii (Kaup, 1852) – E & SE Mexico (extreme SE San Luis Potosí, NE Distrito Federal, NE & E Puebla and S Veracruz E to Yucatán Peninsula, S to N Oaxaca and N Chiapas) and N Guatemala S to C Panama (including islands of Espartal, Brava and Sevilla, off Chiriquí).
  • T. i. albitorques Du Bus de Gisignies, 1847 – E Panama, N & W Colombia (S to W Valle del Cauca, and Magdalena Valley S to N Huila), W Ecuador (S to Guayas and NW Azuay), N & C Peru (W Loreto, San Martín, Ayacucho), NW Bolivia (Pando, Beni) and NW Brazil (R Juruá and Amazon E to Manaus).
  • T. i. erythrogenys (Selby, 1826) – E Colombia (E of Andes from Norte de Santander, Arauca and Meta E to R Orinoco), N, C & S Venezuela (S Maracaibo Basin E to Sucre, W slope of Andes S from Trujillo and E slope S from N Barinas, Coastal Range S to Guárico, also Amazonas and N Bolívar), the Guianas and N Brazil (N of lower R Amazon).
  • T. i. buckleyi Salvin & Godman, 1890 – SE Colombia (W Caquetá and Putumayo E to Amazonas) and E Ecuador (S to Pastaza).
  • T. i. pelzelni Salvin & Godman, 1890 – N & E Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) and WC & NE Brazil (S of Amazon, from left bank of R Madeira E to E Maranhão, S to Mato Grosso).
  • T. i. inquisitor (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – E & SE Brazil (S Piauí and interior Bahia S to N Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay (E from near R Paraguay) and NE Argentina (E Formosa, E Chaco, Corrientes, Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5–20·5 cm; 33·8–70 g. Male nominate race has black crown, lores, ear-coverts and subocular area; upperparts mostly whitish grey, heavily... read more


    Usually rather quiet. Typical calls a husky grunting or dry guttural, somewhat strident, frog-like... read more


    Humid to semi-humid tall forest canopy and mature second growth along borders, clearings with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Largely frugivorous, but also captures much invertebrate prey, primarily to feed offspring; few specifics of diet published, but observed... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in mid May in Guatemala; nestlings in Mar–Jun in Costa Rica; nestbuilding in Mar–Apr in E Panama;... read more


    No significant movements known, although it has been suggested that the species is only a winter... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally fairly common. Apparently more abundant in S part of range; uncommon in NE Brazil. In N Mexico, recent records in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-crowned Tityra (Tityra inquisitor). 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 27 June 2019).