Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Large Elaenia (Elaenia spectabilis)


French: Élénie remarquable German: Graubrust-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío grande

Elainea [sic] spectabilis


, 1868,

Goiás, Brazil


Formerly treated as conspecific with E. flavogaster (which see). Sometimes considered conspecific with E. ridleyana (which see). Monotypic.


E of Andes in C, S & E Brazil, SE Bolivia, Paraguay, NW & NE Argentina and extreme NW Uruguay; occurs also, probably only as non-breeding visitor, in Amazon Basin of SE Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru, N Bolivia and Amazonian Brazil.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; 20–35 g. Large elaenia with slight crested appearance. Head mostly olive-brown, with little or no white coronal patch; upperparts uniform dark greyish olive,... read more


Call a soft “cleeur” or “wheeo”, also “wheer” or “cheer... read more


Mainly edges of forested habitats in lowlands. Forest borders, shrubby clearings, early-... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and fruit. Usually forages solitarily, high in canopy. Perches with upright posture; much less excitable and less conspicuous than... read more


Oct–Mar. Nest a small, neat cup 8 cm in diameter, 4 cm in height, lined with plant fibres and feathers, exterior coated with lichens... read more


Post-breeding migration N into Amazon Basin; recorded in Colombia from early Jun to late Aug.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally fairly common. Occurs in several protected areas, including e.g. Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve and Tambopata-... read more

Recommended citation

Hosner, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Large Elaenia (Elaenia spectabilis). 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).