Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus)


French: Moucherolle à longs brins German: Weißkappen-Schleppentyrann Spanish: Mosquero colilargo

Muscicapa colonus


, 1818,



Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. leuconota (Lafresnaye, 1842) – SE Honduras and E Nicaragua S to NC & W Colombia and W Ecuador (N Guayas).
  • C. c. fuscicapillus (P. L. Sclater, 1862) – #RE Andes of Colombia, E Ecuador (S to Cordillera del Cóndor) and extreme NE Peru (NW Loreto, NE Amazonas).
  • C. c. poecilonota (Cabanis, 1849) – #RSE Venezuela (S of R Orinoco in Bolívar, and Cerro de la Neblina in Amazonas) and the Guianas.
  • C. c. niveiceps J. T. Zimmer, 1930 – SE Ecuador (S Zamora-Chinchipe), E Peru and N Bolivia (S to Cochabamba).
  • C. c. colonus (Vieillot, 1818) – C & E Brazil (from Marajó I, S Maranhão and Bahia S to S Mato Grosso do Sul and N Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 23–28 cm, female 18–22 cm; 15–18 g. Male nominate race dull black, with white forehead and forecrown; whitish rump; belly greyish-black; central tail... read more


    Soft, rising “tuweee” or “wheeet” while flicking tail up, sometimes calls 2... read more


    Borders of tropical and upper tropical humid forest and secondary woodland, edges of gallery forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Of 37 prey items in SE Peru, 60% were hymenopterans, 31% coleopterans; in Costa Rica, 67% of prey items were sweatbees (Trigona).... read more


    Birds in breeding condition and nests located Mar–Jul in Central America, Colombia and Venezuela; in Argentina, pair feeding... read more


    Mostly resident; apparently leaves extreme S of range for austral winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Somewhat local, requiring suitable dead stump with cavity, and nearby colonies of bees. Tolerant of converted habitats, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. (2019). Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus). 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 13 December 2019).