Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Caribbean Elaenia (Elaenia martinica)


French: Élénie siffleuse German: Weißkinn-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío caribeño

[Muscicapa] martinica


, 1766,



W races sometimes thought to be a separate species; clarification needed. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. m. remota Berlepsch, 1907 – islands off Quintana Roo (Cozumel, Holbox, Meco, Mujeres, Culebra Cay), in SE Mexico.
  • E. m. chinchorrensis Griscom, 1926 – Chinchorro Bank (Great Cay), off Quintana Roo (SE Mexico), and outermost cays off Belize (Half-moon Cay, Middle Cay, Glover’s Reef).
  • E. m. cinerescens Ridgway, 1884 – Chinchorro Elaenia – islands of Old Providence, St Andrew’s and Santa Catalina, E of Honduras.
  • E. m. caymanensis Berlepsch, 1907 – Cayman Is.
  • E. m. riisii P. L. Sclater, 1860 – Puerto Rico and offshore islands (Culebra, Culebrita, Vieques, Southwest Cay), Virgin Is, Anguilla, St Martin, St Bartholomew, Antigua, Barbuda, Leeward Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire).
  • E. m. martinica (Linnaeus, 1766) – Caribbean Elaenia – Lesser Antilles from Saba and St Eustatius S to Grenada.
  • E. m. barbadensis Cory, 1888 – Barbados.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 16–18 cm; 19·5–23 g (nominate), 23–24·5 g (cinerescens), 18·5–28·5 g (caymanensis), 18·3... read more


    Call a sharply whistled, sometimes slightly burry “wee-weew” or “wee-wee-weew... read more


    Almost ubiquitous on most islands. Most common in canopy and borders of humid lowland evergreen... read more

    Food and feeding

    Both insects and fruit. Forages alone or in pairs. Often perches at edge of vegetation on semi-exposed perches, but not especially... read more


    Jan–Sept. Nest a flimsy shallow cup of twigs, up to 9 m above ground in shrub or tree. Clutch 2–3 eggs, cream-white to cream-... read more


    Mainly sedentary; no seasonal movements. Vagrants on mainland and large fluctuations in numbers on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common and widespread; apparently less common in former Netherlands Antilles, where rare on Aruba; rare on Old Providence... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hosner, P. (2019). Caribbean Elaenia (Elaenia martinica). 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 14 December 2019).