Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Forest Elaenia (Myiopagis gaimardii)


French: Élénie de Gaimard German: Weißscheitel-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío selvático

Muscicapara Gaimardii


, 1840,

Yuracares, Cochabamba, Bolivia


In past, placed in its own genus, Elainopsis, and moved to family Cotingidae, on basis of incomplete tarsal envelope; but recent genetic studies#R#R confirm placement in present genus. Proposed race subcinerea (EC Brazil from lower Amazon Basin E to Maranhão and Goiás) treated as synonym of nominate; intergrades broadly with nominate and with guianensis, and most individuals cannot be reliably distinguished from either. “Serpophaga berliozi” is likewise synonym of nominate. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. g. macilvainii (Lawrence, 1871) – Panama (E of Canal Zone) and Caribbean coast of Colombia (E to base of Santa Marta Mts).
  • M. g. bogotensis (Berlepsch, 1907) – NE Colombia (from N Santa Marta Mts and Norte de Santander) E to N Venezuela (W Zulia E to Sucre, S to Barinas, Apure and R Orinoco).
  • M. g. trinitatis (E. J. O. Hartert & Goodson, 1917) – Trinidad.
  • M. g. guianensis (Berlepsch, 1907) – E Amazonian Colombia, S & SE Venezuela (S of R Orinoco) and the Guianas S to N Amazonian Brazil and extreme NE Peru (N of Amazon in Loreto).
  • M. g. gaimardii (d’Orbigny, 1840) – E Ecuador, E Peru, C, S & NE Brazil (S of Amazon E to Maranhão and S to Goiás and W São Paulo; also Pernambuco and Alagoas) and N Bolivia.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–12·5 cm; 12–13 g. Small, with elongated crown feathers forming slight bushy crest. Nominate race has indistinct whitish loral spot and supercilium, narrow... read more


    Short, upward-inflected, disyllabic “pitchueeet”, typically as isolated calls or separated by... read more


    Tropical lowland evergreen forest, forest borders, gallery forest and, to lesser extent, deciduous... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects; berries and small fruit also eaten. Forages usually very high in forest canopy; often, but not always, with mixed-species flocks.... read more


    Nest found in Feb in Panama; breeds Mar–Sept in Colombia and Feb–Sept in Trinidad. Nest (Panama) a cup of grass and moss,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in much of range, but easily overlooked unless voice known; difficult to locate in forest canopy and heard much more often than it is... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Forest Elaenia (Myiopagis gaimardii). 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 13 December 2019).