Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Little Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola fluviatilis)


French: Dormilon fluviatile German: Tiefland-Grundtyrann Spanish: Dormilona enana

Muscisaxicola fluviatilis

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1866,

lower Río Ucayali, Peru


Usually considered closely allied to M. maculirostris, but recent phylogenetic work#R suggests this species may be more closely related to other taxa (e.g. Muscigralla) than to current congeners. Form titicacae is a synonym. Monotypic.


Extreme SE Colombia (SE Amazonas) and E Peru (N bank of R Marañón S to R Inambari) to W Brazil (E to middle R Amazon and upper R Madeira region) and NW & C Bolivia (to Cochabamba); recorded, status unknown, in W & E Ecuador#R#R.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm. Has pale buffy supraloral line and eyering; above, greyish and sandy brown, wings dusky, inner remiges very narrowly edged pale greyish-cinnamon or rufescent... read more


Usually quiet; call a single high-pitched “peeeép” with rising inflection.


Open or sparsely vegetated sandbars and river islands; sometimes in adjacent open grassy areas. The... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Usually found singly or in pairs, running in open, though rather inconspicuous (dorsal coloration similar to that of usual sandy... read more


Aug–Oct in SE Peru. Nest is inconspicuous cup of weeds and twigs on ground amongst emerging Tessaria on large sandy beaches... read more


Resident. Some possible movement; e.g. records at highland localities, e.g. in Colombia, Ecuador... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon and local. Occurs in e.g. Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone and Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve, in Peru, Pilón Lajas Biosphere... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Little Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola fluviatilis). 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 15 November 2019).