Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus)


French: Attila à croupion jaune German: Gelbbürzel-Attilatyrann Spanish: Atila polimorfo

[Muscicapa] spadicea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,



Although major vocal differences between Middle American and South American races in one study#R suggested at least two species involved, that analysis included only two vocalization types, did not take account of all differences among races, and omitted populations from W of Andes; recent analysis (unpublished data) found that some races are vocally less similar to others in their group than to races placed in a different group, while birds W of Andes are vocally much closer to Middle American group; much further work needed. Birds of Tabasco (SE Mexico) previously separated as race mexicanus, but inseparable from flammulatus. Original spelling of race citreopyga invariable#R (contra HBW). Twelve subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. pacificus Hellmayr, 1929 – coastal W Mexico from extreme S Sonora S to W Oaxaca.
  • A. s. flammulatus Lafresnaye, 1848 – SE Mexico (S Veracruz and N & SE Oaxaca E to S Quintana Roo and Chiapas), Guatemala, Belize and NC Honduras.
  • A. s. gaumeri Salvin & Godman, 1891 – N Yucatán Peninsula (SE Mexico), including islands of Holbox, Meco and Mujeres.
  • A. s. cozumelae Ridgway, 1885 – Cozumel I, off NE Quintana Roo.
  • A. s. salvadorensis Dickey & van Rossem, 1929 – El Salvador S to NW Nicaragua.
  • A. s. citreopyga (Bonaparte, 1854) – E Honduras and Nicaragua S to WC Panama (Veraguas).
  • A. s. sclateri Lawrence, 1862 – E Panama (E from Colón and E Coclé) and adjacent NW Colombia (upper Sinú Valley).
  • A. s. parvirostris J. A. Allen, 1900 – N Colombia (Santa Marta region) and NW Venezuela (Maracaibo Basin).
  • A. s. caniceps Todd, 1917 – middle Magdalena and lower Sinú Valleys, in N Colombia.
  • A. s. parambae E. J. O. Hartert, 1900 – W Colombia (C Chocó) S to NW Ecuador (S to Manabí and Pichincha).
  • A. s. spadiceus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – W & N Venezuela (Táchira, W Apure, SE Lara, and Falcón E to Aragua), Trinidad, and entire Amazon–Orinoco Basin from SE Colombia NE to the Guianas and S to E Ecuador, E Peru, N Bolivia and S Amazonian Brazil.
  • A. s. uropygiatus (Wied, 1831) – coastal E Brazil (Pernambuco, Alagoas, S Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–21·5 cm; 31·4–44 g. Polymorphic, but always with two distinctive wingbars, yellow rump, and breast streaking; yellow to orangey-hazel to reddish-brown eyes,... read more


    Both sexes sing. Dawn songs differ between Middle and South American populations: a series of... read more


    Humid lowland forest (e.g. terra firme), swampy and foothill forest and edge, also second... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly large arthropods and small vertebrates, especially frogs and lizards (e.g. Anolis limifrons, Lygosoma cherriei);... read more


    Mainly Mar–Jul in Central America, from Apr in Belize; nests from Mar (pair in breeding condition in Feb) in Colombia, and in Mar... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Has relatively large range, within which extensive areas of suitable habitat remain in reasonably good condition.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Walther, B. (2019). Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus). 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 19 November 2019).