Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Nutting's Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi)


French: Tyran de Nutting German: Braunwangen-Schopftyrann Spanish: Copetón de Nutting

Myiarchus nuttingi


, 1882,

La Palma de Nicoya, Guanacaste, western Costa Rica


In past, sometimes considered conspecific with M. cinerascens, but differs in mouth-lining colour, vocalizations, rectrix pattern, wing formula, and morphometrics; no evidence of hybridization between the two. Form flavidior may be a separate species, differing from others in voice and habitat, as well as plumage#R; presumed sympatry of flavidior with nominate in S Mexico (Oaxaca), S Nicaragua and Costa Rica (Guanacaste) and intergradation with inquietus over larger zone in Oaxaca require reinvestigation. All three taxa have been thought to occur in both pure and hybrid forms in Oaxaca; complex pattern of zones of contact between races has not been assessed since 1961, and study urgently needed. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. n. inquietus Salvin & Godman, 1889 – W & C Mexico (WC Sonora S to Chiapas, and E to S San Luis Potosí and Hidalgo).
  • M. n. nuttingi Ridgway, 1882 – Nutting's Flycatcher – arid interior valleys from S Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas) through Guatemala (R Motagua), Honduras (Choluteca and Comayagua Valleys) and W Nicaragua (arid slopes in vicinity of Matagalpa) to NW Costa Rica (tropical deciduous woodland of Guanacaste).
  • M. n. flavidior van Rossem, 1936 – Ridgway's Flycatcher – Pacific lowlands of S Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas) S to W Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; 21–23·9 g. Plumage is drab grey-brown above, paler and greyer on head side, uppertail-coverts with variable rufescent tinge; wings browner, rufous outer... read more


    Sharp “wheek” or “wheep”, shorter than calls of M. crinitus; dawn song a varied series of... read more


    Tropical deciduous forest and thorn woodland; arid to semi-arid scrubby woodland, semi-open areas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and berries. Usually hunts from understorey to medium heights. Sallies and hovers within foliage to snatch food items; less often,... read more


    Few data. Nest a cup of fur, feathers, catkins, and shed skin of snake or lizard, placed in cavity (e.g. in fence post) 0·3–1·2 m... read more


    Resident. Occasional wandering; vagrants recorded in NE Sonora, also in S USA (S Arizona,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common. Occurs in Río Negro Jaguar Reserve and Tarcol Lodge, both in Costa Rica.

    Recommended citation

    Joseph, L. (2019). Nutting's Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi). 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 8 December 2019).