Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-fronted Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola frontalis)


French: Dormilon à front noir German: Schwarzstirn-Grundtyrann Spanish: Dormilona frentinegra

Ptyonura frontalis


, 1860,

foot of Sierra de Mendoza, Argentina




High cordilleras of Chile (Antofagasta S to Maule) and C Argentina (W Mendoza S to W Río Negro); winters N to W Bolivia and S Peru (N to Ancash#R).

Descriptive notes

18 cm. Striking head pattern. Has forecrown black, blackish-chestnut toward hind­crown, with conspicuous white lores and broken eyering; upperparts ashy grey, wings... read more




Puna grassland and stony hillsides with sparse vegetation, often near water. Mostly 2500... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of insects. It apparently feeds also on fruits of the cactus Cumulopuntia boliviana during winter in Peru . Mainly... read more


Oct–Mar; nestlings in Dec in Chile. One nest found, in deep crack between rocks, contained 2 chicks. No other information available.


Migratory; spends austral winter (Apr–Sept) mainly in W Bolivia and S Peru (Arequipa),... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare to uncommon; locally more common, e.g. around Portillo ski resort or at El Yeso Reservoir, in C Chile. In austral winter, apparently uncommon in... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A., Langham, G. & de Juana, E. (2019). Black-fronted Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola frontalis). 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 11 December 2019).