Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Large-headed Flatbill (Ramphotrigon megacephalum)


French: Tyran mégacéphale German: Gelbbrauen-Flachschnabeltyrann Spanish: Picoplano cabezón
Other common names: Bamboo Flatbill

Tyrannula megacephala


, 1835,

São Paulo, Brazil


Formerly placed in Tolmomyias. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. m. venezuelense Phelps, Sr & Gilliard, 1941 – NW Venezuela (W Trujillo, W Apure, W Barinas, NE Yaracuy, N Aragua), and probably into adjacent Colombia; also, possibly this race, Guyana#R.
  • R. m. pectorale J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1947 – S Venezuela (Amazonas), SE Colombia and E Ecuador, probably also adjacent Brazil and Peru.
  • R. m. bolivianum J. T. Zimmer, 1939 – E Peru (Ucayali, Cuzco, Madre de Dios, N Puno), Brazil (Amazonas and Pará S to Acre, Rondônia and Mato Grosso) and N Bolivia (Pando to NE Cochabamba and NE Santa Cruz).
  • R. m. megacephalum (Swainson, 1835) – SE Paraguay (Canindeyú, Alto Paraná), NE Argentina (Misiones) and SE Brazil (E Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo S to São Paulo).
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13·2 cm; 13–15 g. Brown eye, flat black bill with basal third of lower mandible flesh-coloured, grey legs, slightly heavy-headed appearance. Has dark olive... read more


    Call a soft mournful “wheé-whoo” (or “bam-boo”) whistle, second note a semitone lower-pitched,... read more


    Inside or at edge of humid seasonally inundated forest, usually closely associated with dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivore. Usually feeding alone, occasionally in mixed-species flocks. Perches quietly, and almost motionless, for long periods; then... read more


    Nest and nestlings in Nov in Peru and juveniles in Nov–Dec in SE Brazil. Builds nest with ample material inside hole or cavity, e.g.... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common but very local. In seemingly disjunct populations in NW, C & CE South America. Much of its habitat remains in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Walther, B. (2020). Large-headed Flatbill (Ramphotrigon megacephalum). 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 January 2020).