Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Coopmans's Elaenia (Elaenia brachyptera)


French: Élénie de Berlepsch German: Braunrücken-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío alicorto

Elaenia brachyptera


, 1907,

San Pablo, 4500 feet [c. 1370 m], Nariño, Colombia


Until recently considered conspecific with E. chiriquensis, but strong vocal#R and genetic#R evidence supports species status for this taxon: thus, differs in its slightly smaller size (allow 1); darker, more brownish-olive upperparts (1); greyer breast (1); different dawn song (“wit...wit...weedeew” vs lower, rhythmic, gravelly “tse-rwee...tse-rwee...tse-rwee-gr-gr-wee”) (3); and markedly higher-pitched daytime call note (high “pee” vs mellow “whee”) (3), plus a long rattle call not known from chiriquensis and albivertex (ns[3])#R. Undescribed population found in E Andes of Ecuador now known to belong with present species#R; dawn song described above is from this population, and remains unknown for western population. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

W Andean foothills in SW Colombia (Nariño) and NW Ecuador (S to N Pichincha); also E Andes in E Ecuador (Napo to Morona-Santiago), perhaps extending to S Colombia and NE Peru#R.

Descriptive notes

13·5 cm. Small, nondescript elaenia, slightly elongated crown feathers producing square-shaped crest, which is occasionally parted to reveal white coronal patch, with vague... read more


Versus E. chiriquensis, the presumed dawn song is a much higher-pitched "tsee...tsee...... read more


Inhabits semi-open habitats and clearings, including lighter woodland, in foothills and subtropics... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing definitely reported, but probably largely similar to formerly conspecific E. chiriquensis.


Apparently no information.


None known; presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In NW Ecuador, considered to be rather local, but status confused by identification difficulties; species has also recently been... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Coopmans's Elaenia (Elaenia brachyptera). 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 28 January 2020).