Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Great Elaenia (Elaenia dayi)


French: Élénie de Day German: Riesenolivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío de Day

Elænia dayi


, 1929,

Cerro Roraima, 8600 feet [c. 2620 m], Venezuela


Apparently most closely related to E. obscura (with sordida)#R. Name dayi dates to Feb and tyleri to Oct, giving former priority. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. d. tyleri Chapman, 1929 – mountains of SC Venezuela in Amazonas (cerros Parú, Huachamacari, Marahuaca, Duida) and SW Bolívar (Meseta de Jaua).
  • E. d. auyantepui J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1952 – Auyán-tepui, in SE Bolívar.
  • E. d. dayi Chapman, 1929 – mountains and Gran Sabana of SE Venezuela (cerros Ptari-tepui, Chimantá-tepui, Kukenam, Roraima) and extreme adjacent Brazil#R; probably also in adjacent Guyana.
  • Descriptive notes

    20 cm; 29–40 g (race auyantepui). Large, dark, long-tailed elaenia with very rounded head, at most only slight crest, and no coronal patch. Plumage is dark... read more


    Peculiar, loud “squee’ch’ch’ch’cheet’cheet”, first note high, middle notes rattling.


    Forest and humid scrub, including humid forest, open forest, stunted savanna woodland, mossy ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, also variety of small fruits. Solitary or in pairs. Perches upright in middle to upper parts of trees, sometimes on exposed... read more


    Unrecorded, but birds collected on Auyán-tepui in Feb were in breeding condition.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Tepuis EBA. Rare to fairly common; more numerous at higher elevations, and most common during... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hosner, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Great Elaenia (Elaenia dayi). 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 17 January 2020).