Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Mistletoe Tyrannulet (Zimmerius parvus)


French: Tyranneau menu German: Hellbauch-Kleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito menor

Tyranniscus parvus


, 1862,

Isthmus of Panama = Lion Hill, Canal Zone


Previously considered conspecific with Z. improbus, and until recently with Z. vilissimus#R. Differs from latter in its smaller size (effect size for wing −2.89, score 2); slightly paler, more greyish crown (1); narrow, less obvious supercilium (1); less marked and less yellow flammulations on lower underparts (1); and song with longer note length (at least 2) and much less frequency drop (2)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Honduras and E Nicaragua S to Panama and extreme NW Colombia (NW Chocó).

Descriptive notes

10 cm; 8·5–11·1 g. Small, short-tailed and short-billed tyrannulet, with comparatively long legs and tail. Crown dull grey, paler supercilium and dusky lores, dull olive-... read more


Dawn song is a rather melancholy-sounding “yer-de-dee, yer-de-dee, pe-pe-pe” or “deeu deeu dee tee-... read more


Humid montane forest, forest borders, tall second growth with clearings, and shrubby pastures with... read more

Food and feeding

Small insects, beetles and spiders; mistletoe (Loranthaceae) and other small berries regularly eaten. Forages singly or in pairs, often... read more


Season Feb–Jul, rarely Aug in Costa Rica; nestbuilding in late Feb, female with nearly-formed egg in early Mar and adult feeding nestlings... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common, but rare in N Pacific lowlands and Valle Central of Costa Rica (absent from Guanacaste). Especially common... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Mistletoe Tyrannulet (Zimmerius parvus). 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 27 January 2020).