Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Crowned Chat-tyrant (Silvicultrix frontalis)


French: Pitajo couronné German: Nordanden-Schmätzertyrann Spanish: Pitajo coronado

Tyrannula frontalis


, 1847,

Pasto, Colombia


Formerly considered to include S. jelskii and S. pulchella. N and S races form two well-differentiated groups, possibly representing separate species#R. Birds of E Ecuador previously separated as race orientalis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. f. albidiadema (Lafresnaye, 1848) – E Andes of Colombia (Norte de Santander to Cundinamarca).
  • S. f. frontalis (Lafresnaye, 1847) – Crowned Chat-tyrant – W & C Andes of Colombia, Ecuador (both slopes) and NW Peru (S to E La Libertad).
  • S. f. boliviana (Carriker, 1935) – Andes of C & S Peru (San Martín S to Huánuco, and Urubamba Valley in S Cuzco) and Bolivia (E slope from La Paz SE to W Santa Cruz).
  • S. f. spodionota (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896) – Kalinowski's Chat-tyrant – Junín, W Cuzco (in Cordillera Vilcabamba) and adjoining NE Ayacucho, in C Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13 cm. Male nominate race has crown dark brown, bright yellow frontal band and long supercilium becoming white toward back of head; dark brown upperparts, dusky... read more


    Usually silent; occasionally a thin, high-pitched, descending trill, “te-tirrrrrrrrrrr,” often... read more


    Elfin forest, montane forest borders, and scrubby thickets, usually in elevational zone 100–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Usually solitary, and rarely with mixed-species flocks. Inconspicuous and easily overlooked, usually perching low to the ground in... read more


    Fledglings in Sept in Colombia and Jan in Bolivia (Cochabamba); juveniles in Apr in NW Ecuador and Nov in Peru (Huánuco). Nest an open cup... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Occurs in all Andean protected areas in Ecuador and Peru and in the La Paz and Cochabamba provinces in Bolivia.

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Crowned Chat-tyrant (Silvicultrix frontalis). 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 6 December 2019).