Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Brazilian Elaenia (Elaenia sordida)


French: Élénie de Zimmer German: Paranáolivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío brasileño

Elaenia obscura sordida

J. T. Zimmer

, 1941,

Franca, São Paulo, Brazil


Hitherto treated as conspecific with E. obscura, although split long advocated on genetic grounds#R. Differs in its larger average size (ns); darker, duller, more olive upperparts (1); greyer throat, breast and flanks (1); and song, a simple “wee-krrr-ee-krrree” vs more complex, longer phrase (3), with longest note in it much shorter (not scored, as possibly correlated with phrase length), with lower minimum (2) and maximum (ns[2]) frequency of the first whistle#R; habitat differences might be expected, given restriction of obscura to highlands (1700–3000 m) and of present species to land between sea-level and 2000 m#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Brazil (S Mato Grosso do Sul E to Minas Gerais, locally to C Bahia, and S to Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay, NE Argentina and extreme N Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

18–20 cm; 24–34·5 g. Small-headed elaenia lacking crest and pale coronal patch, appearing short-billed and long-tailed, on average larger than E. obscura, also... read more


Song considered similar to that of E. mesoleuca, but is quite different to formerly... read more


Edges and undergrowth of humid forest and secondary woodland, including coastal restinga,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet insects (e.g. hymenopterans) and fruit, the latter including such species as Schinus terebinthifolius (Anacardiaceae), ... read more


Nests in mid Oct, late Dec and mid Feb, and birds with enlarged gonads in Oct and Nov in S Brazil, while in C Brazil a nest with a single... read more


Generally considered to be resident, but single record from Bahia (Brazil) could have involved a... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare (e.g. in Paraguay) to fairly common and local; in Brazil, occurs in Serra da Canastra National Park, Intervales State Park and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Brazilian Elaenia (Elaenia sordida). 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).