Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Common Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)


French: Moucherolle vermillon German: Rubintyrann Spanish: Mosquero cardenal

Muscicapa rubinus


, 1783,

Tefé, Amazonas, Brazil


Usually considered conspecific with P. nanus and †P. dubius (see both). Nominate race, an austral migrant (1), almost identical to other subspecies but with different wing-shape (ns), possibly smaller bill (ns) and darker outer vanes of outer rectrices (1), sings rather differently from other taxa, having a structurally similar but much faster song (2), finishing on higher note (2); recently suggested to be a separate species, with strong additional support from molecular data#R; further research needed. Racial boundaries poorly delineated in some cases; further work needed to clarify limits. Birds from SE Peru (Huiro and Chaquimayo) described as race major, but validity has repeatedly been questioned; breeding grounds of this purported race unknown. Ten subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. flammeus van Rossem, 1934 – SW USA (SE California and S Nevada E locally to W Texas, occasionally farther N) S to NW Mexico (Baja California and Nayarit); N populations winter in S of breeding range and S to Central America.
  • P. r. mexicanus P. L. Sclater, 1859 – S USA (S Texas) S locally to C & S Mexico (N Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca).
  • P. r. blatteus Bangs, 1911 – SE Mexico (S Veracruz to Yucatán Peninsula and Chiapas), Belize and N Guatemala.
  • P. r. pinicola T. R. Howell, 1965 – E Honduras (Mosquitia) and NE Nicaragua.
  • P. r. saturatus Berlepsch & E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – NE Colombia (N Magdalena and La Guajira to Norte de Santander; Arauca to NE Meta), W & N Venezuela (S to Apure and N Bolívar), SW Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima).
  • P. r. piurae J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – W Colombia (Dagua, Patía, Cauca and Magdalena Valleys) S to W Ecuador and NW Peru (Ancash).
  • P. r. ardens J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – N Peru (extreme E Piura, Cajamarca, Amazonas).
  • P. r. obscurus Gould, 1839 – Common Vermilion Flycatcher – W Peru (Lima region).
  • P. r. cocachacrae J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – SW Peru (Ica) S to extreme N Chile (Tarapacá).
  • P. r. rubinus (Boddaert, 1783) – Austral Vermilion Flycatcher – E Bolivia, Paraguay and S Brazil S to Argentina (S to Río Negro) and Uruguay; winters mostly E of Andes N to E Ecuador and SE Colombia and E through Amazonia and S Brazil.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 11·3–14·8 g (race flammeus), 12–16·1 g (race pinicola), 13·8 g (race saturatus), 10·... read more


    Call a high, sharp “peent”, “pisk” or “peep”, by both sexes... read more


    Variety of open, dry or moist habitats, often near water, including open woodland, clearings, arid... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including butterflies (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), sawflies (Tenthredinidae), beetles (Coleoptera),... read more


    Mid Mar to mid Jul in SW USA (Arizona) and Mexico (races flammeus and mexicanus), although display flights noted almost... read more


    Mostly resident. Populations in S USA and NW Mexico (Sonora) mostly migrate S as far as S Central... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare to locally common. Estimated global population 2,000,000 individuals. Population declines reported in SW USA (especially S... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Lebbin, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Common Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus). 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 29 February 2020).