Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Grey-crowned Flatbill (Tolmomyias poliocephalus)


French: Tyranneau poliocéphale German: Grauscheitel-Breitschnabeltyrann Spanish: Picoplano cabecigrís
Other common names: Grey-crowned Flycatcher

Rhynchocyclus poliocephalus


, 1884,

Nauta, Peru


Geographical boundaries of races poorly differentiated; online recordings indicate that nominate differs in song from klagesi and sclateri in having 4–5 notes vs 4, and in the final 2–3 notes becoming distinctly disyllablic, but work needed to determine where and how the transition in vocal and racial characters occurs#R. Race klagesi may not be valid; sometimes merged with sclateri. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. poliocephalus (Taczanowski, 1884) – SW Venezuela (S Amazonas), E & SE Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru, and W Brazil (W Amazonas E to right bank of lower R Negro and Tefé).
  • T. p. klagesi (Ridgway, 1906) – C & E Venezuela (N Amazonas, Bolívar, Delta Amacuro).
  • T. p. sclateri (Hellmayr, 1903) – the Guianas through E Amazonian Brazil to N & C Bolivia; also isolated population in coastal E Brazil (Pernambuco S to Espírito Santo).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 11 g. Nominate race has small whitish supraloral stripe and faint indistinct eyering; crown and nape grey, contrasting with olive upperparts; wings blackish, wing-... read more


    Song a leisurely series of husky whistles that accelerate and strengthen towards end, “teeawe... read more


    Middle and upper levels (Brazil), canopy and edge of humid terra firme forest, várzea... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded prey include bugs (Hemiptera) and coleopterans (of family Curculionidae). Forages singly or in pairs, usually accompanying mixed... read more


    Nests found in Jan and Jun in SE Colombia. Nest a hanging bag-like structure suspended 2–25 m above ground, often near wasp (... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common; often overlooked. Occurs in many national parks and other protected areas throughout its range, e.g. Tinigua National Park, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Caballero, I. (2020). Grey-crowned Flatbill (Tolmomyias poliocephalus). 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 19 January 2020).