Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Tody-flycatcher (Todirostrum nigriceps)


French: Todirostre à tête noire German: Schwarzkopf-Todityrann Spanish: Titirijí cabecinegro

Todirostrum nigriceps

P. L. Sclater

, 1855,

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia


Sometimes treated as conspecific with T. pictum and T. chrysocrotaphum; differs from former in its lack of white markings on head (3); dark eye (3); lack of spotting on throat to flanks (3); and yellow vs green mantle (ns[3]); and from latter in its white vs yellow throat (3); lack of yellow supercilium (3); yellow vs olive-grey mantle (2). Monotypic.


E Costa Rica, Panama, N & W Colombia, extreme W Venezuela (E to Barinas) and W Ecuador (S to Guayas); reported in N Nicaragua#R.

Descriptive notes

8–10·2 cm; 6–6·5 g. Distinctive. Has glossy black crown and side of head contrasting with white throat and yellowish-olive upperparts; sometimes... read more


Call a lively single or double “chip”, “peep” or “pik”; song a... read more


Canopy and edge of humid forest and second growth, and adjacent plantations, clearings and pastures... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, e.g. ants and parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera), flies (Diptera), damselflies (Zygoptera), bugs (both Heteroptera and Homoptera),... read more


Nest found in Jun and birds taken in breeding condition in Feb, in Colombia; nest found in Aug, in Panama. Nest is an untidy short pouch... read more


Probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common, but probably often overlooked. Occurs in Rancho Naturalista and Río Negro Jaguar Reserve, in Costa Rica; in Darién... read more

Recommended citation

Walther, B. (2019). Black-headed Tody-flycatcher (Todirostrum nigriceps). 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).