Family Silky-flycatchers (Ptiliogonidae)

Least Concern

Grey Silky-flycatcher (Ptiliogonys cinereus)


French: Ptilogon cendré German: Grauseidenschnäpper Spanish: Capulinero gris
Other common names: Grey Silky

Ptiliogonys cinereus


, 1827,

Real del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico


Sister to P. caudatus#R. Race schistaceus (Río Molino, Oaxaca) generally considered a synonym of nominate#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. otofuscus R. T. Moore, 1935 – NW Mexico (S Sonora, SW Chihuahua, E Sinaloa, W Durango, W Zacatecas).
  • P. c. cinereus Swainson, 1827 – C & E Mexico (S Coahuila, S Nuevo León and Jalisco S to W Michoacán and Oaxaca).
  • P. c. pallescens Griscom, 1934 – SW Mexico (E Michoacán and Guerrero).
  • P. c. molybdophanes Ridgway, 1887 – S Mexico (Chiapas) and SC Guatemala.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–21 cm. Slender, with prominent crest and long tail. Male nominate race has blue-grey head (including crest) and upperparts, dusky lores; flight-feathers and... read more


    Loud “tu whip, tu whip”, second note higher in pitch and more emphatic; dry “chi-... read more


    Montane pine (Pinus), oak (Quercus) and juniper (Juniperus) forests,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and berries. Berries of mistletoes (Loranthaceae) especially important; numbers of present species vary with abundance of ripe... read more


    In Mexico, two nests under construction in late May in Tamaulipas and nest with chicks in Jun in Morelos. Open cup-nest of oak catkins,... read more


    Generally resident. Some downslope movement in winter, when also wanders into adjacent habitat; may... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in much of range; uncommon in NW Mexico (Sonora). Found in 32 Important Bird Areas, including seven protected areas, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chu, M. (2019). Grey Silky-flycatcher (Ptiliogonys cinereus). 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 18 February 2019).