Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Cinereous Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola cinereus)


French: Dormilon cendré German: Graubraun-Grundtyrann Spanish: Dormilona cenicienta

Muscisaxicola cinerea

R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] and Landbeck

, 1864,

Arañas, Valle Largo, Las Chacarillas, Cordilleras de Santiago, Chile


Race argentinus may belong in M. alpinus#R, as partly supported by genetic analysis#R; further study needed. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. cinereus R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] & Landbeck, 1864 – Peru (S Puno), Bolivia, N Chile (Coquimbo S to Maule) and W Argentina (Mendoza); S populations migrate N.
  • M. c. argentinus Hellmayr, 1932 – NW Argentina (Jujuy S to Catamarca); S populations migrate N.
  • Descriptive notes

    16·5 cm. Relatively plain-headed. Has narrow white supercilium extending to eye, dusky lores; greyish-brown above, wings duskier, some pale edging on wing-coverts; tail... read more


    Song is unknown. Call is a soft "pip" repeated at intervals.


    Montane scrub, open puna grassland, rocky pastures near streams and lakes; near bogs and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Mainly terrestrial, making short runs and hops, stopping suddenly and standing erect; less frequently, sallies from the ground or... read more


    Sept–Mar; nests found in Nov in Chile and Argentina, also eggs in Oct in Chile, and fledglings in Dec in Argentina Jan in S Peru.... read more


    Some migration N during austral winter, birds reaching C Peru (Lima and Junín).

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common. Occurs in e.g. Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, in Peru, and Sajama and Eduardo Avaroa National Parks, in Bolivia.

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Langham, G. & Boesman, P. (2020). Cinereous Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola cinereus). 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 20 February 2020).