Family Tityras and allies (Tityridae)

Least Concern

Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata)


French: Tityre masqué German: Weißnackenbekarde Spanish: Titira enmascarado

Pachyrhynchus semifasciatus


, 1825,

Pará, Brazil


Relationships within genus uncertain; one molecular investigation#R found this species to be closest to T. cayana (with braziliensis). Nominate race and fortis intergrade in W Amazonia, such that distributional limit of each not entirely clear. Race hannumi often merged with griseiceps. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. hannumi van Rossem & Hachisuka, 1937 – NW Mexico (SE Sonora, SW Chihuahua, NE Sinaloa).
  • T. s. griseiceps Ridgway, 1888 – W Mexico (coast region from NC Sinaloa and W Durango S to S Oaxaca).
  • T. s. personata Jardine & Selby, 1827 – E Mexico (SW Tamaulipas, SE San Luis Potosí, N Distrito Federal and N Puebla E to Campeche), N & S Guatemala, Belize, W & C Honduras, El Salvador and NC Nicaragua.
  • T. s. deses Bangs, 1915 – SE Mexico (Yucatán, N Quintana Roo).
  • T. s. costaricensis Ridgway, 1906 – SE Honduras, Nicaragua (except NC area), Costa Rica and W & C Panama (including Coiba I and Cébaco I).
  • T. s. columbiana Ridgway, 1906 – E Panama, N & W Colombia (Bolívar and Magdalena S to Chocó, N Antioquia and WC Santander) and NW & N Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá, Andes, and Coastal Range from Yaracuy E to Miranda).
  • T. s. nigriceps J. A. Allen, 1888 – extreme SW Colombia (Nariño) and NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas, Manabí, W Pichincha, W Guayas, Los Ríos, NW Azuay).
  • T. s. fortis Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1896 – E Colombia (E slope of E Andes), E Ecuador (along base of E slope), E Peru (Loreto and San Martín S to E Ayacucho and Puno), N & E Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba and Beni E to Santa Cruz) and WC Brazil (SW Amazonas).
  • T. s. semifasciata (Spix, 1825) – French Guiana, Brazil (primarily S of Amazon in C & S Amazonas E to Pará, Amapá and N Maranhão, S to Acre, Rondônia, S Mato Grosso and N Goiás) and E Paraguay; range apparently expanding into S Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, W Paraná)#R#R and NE Argentina (Misiones)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–24 cm; 77–88·1 g. Male has black mask with bare rosy-red facial skin and ocular area, narrowly surrounded by black feathers in area of forecrown, upper... read more


    Typical call a distinctive buzzy, nasal, staccato, and croaking or clicking “zzzu rrk”... read more


    Humid to semi-arid forest canopy and crown of taller trees along forest edges, woodland, palm... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly frugivorous; some insects, occasionally small lizards. Observed singly, in loose pairs, or in small straggling flocks of 3–4... read more


    Bird in breeding condition in late May in Guatemala; season at least Mar–Jul in Costa Rica, sometimes two broods; in Colombia, birds... read more


    No significant movements known. Vagrant regularly observed in S USA (S Texas) Feb–Mar 1989,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common. Apparently more abundant W of Andes. Much suitable habitat for this remains in relatively pristine condition... read more

    Recommended citation

    Mobley, J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata). 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 June 2019).