Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Shrike-tyrant (Agriornis murinus)


French: Gaucho souris German: Kleinhakentyrann Spanish: Gaucho chico

P[epoaza]. Murina

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Río Negro, Argentina


In past, sometimes placed in Xolmis on grounds of shared behavioural traits and morphological similarities, but now normally included in present genus, which it closely resembles in plumage colour and pattern; appears somewhat intermediate between the two genera, thus supporting their possible merging; further study required. Monotypic.


NW & SC Argentina (Catamarca, La Rioja and Córdoba, and from Neuquén, Río Negro and SW Buenos Aires S to Santa Cruz; may also breed in intervening zone); winters N as far as C Bolivia and W Paraguay.

Descriptive notes

16–18·5 cm. Has crown grey-brown, supercilium and eyering whitish, lores mixed blackish and white; upperparts grey-brown, wings dusky with whitish tips of wing-coverts... read more


Usually silent; during pursuits gives sharp squeaky notes; occasional high-pitched whistle-like... read more


Open plains with dry scrub and scattered trees during breeding season; also agri­cultural areas... read more

Food and feeding

Large in­sects, small mammals, lizards, frogs, and eggs or nestlings of other birds. Generally forages alone. Usually perches on top of... read more


One nest found in Nov, a cup made of stems, lined with grass and feathers, external dimensions 12 × 13·5 cm, height 7 cm, internal diameter... read more


Migratory. After breeding migrates N; spends austral winter (May–Sept) in much of rest of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common. No obvious potential threats. Survey work required in order to establish precise limits of breeding range. read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Lesser Shrike-tyrant (Agriornis murinus). 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 7 December 2019).