Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Brown-capped Tyrannulet (Ornithion brunneicapillus)


French: Tyranneau à tête brune German: Braunkappen-Kleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito coronipardo

Tyrannulus brunneicapillus


, 1862,

Isthmus of Panama


Previously considered conspecific with O. semiflavum (which see), but now normally separated, on basis of plumage, voice and habitat; also, no apparent intergradation where ranges come together in Costa Rica. Birds from N Colombia (Santa Marta region) and NW Venezuela described as race dilutum, supposedly slightly paler below on average, but not reliably distinguishable from other populations. Monotypic.


Caribbean slope of Costa Rica S to W & NC Colombia and W Ecuador (El Oro); also locally in NE Colombia and W & N Venezuela (E to S Miranda); recently recorded in S Nicaragua#R.

Descriptive notes

8 cm; 7–8 g. Has white forehead, lores and supercilium, brownish-olive to dark brown crown, olive upperparts; wings and tail dusky olive; auriculars and face olive,... read more


Series of 4–6 high metallic or piping whistles, each slightly downward-slurred, slight pause... read more


Humid tropical and upper tropical evergreen forest, including forest edge and older second growth,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages singly or in pairs; occasionally joins mixed-species flocks. Actively flits from perch to perch in dense foliage, usually... read more


Jan–Aug. Nest an untidy flat saucer of fine twigs, leaf petioles and bark, placed c. 3·5–12 m up on small fork in understorey... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common; probably often overlooked. In Venezuela, fairly common on E slope of Andes near Barinitas, and present also in Henri... read more

Recommended citation

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Brown-capped Tyrannulet (Ornithion brunneicapillus). 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).