Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Pied Water-tyrant (Fluvicola pica)


French: Moucherolle pie German: Elsterwassertyrann Spanish: Viudita pía

Muscicapa pica


, 1783,

French Guiana


Often considered conspecific with F. albiventer, but differs in plumage and vocalizations, and they do not intergrade. Monotypic.


E Panama, N, C & E Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and the Guianas S to upper E Orinoco and extreme N Brazil (upper R Branco, coastal Amapá); two sightings in Ecuador#R#R.

Descriptive notes

12·5–13·5 cm; 11–16 g. Prominent rictal bristles. Male has white head, contrasting black hindcrown and nape; upperparts mixed black and white, some white mottling... read more


Call a nasal, buzzy “zhweeoo” or “dreeap” (sometimes accompa­nied by vertical jump of c. 1 m),... read more


Around freshwater marshes, ponds and lakes, sometimes out into adjacent open areas, corrals and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Usually singly or in scattered pairs. Conspicuous and tame. Usually forages in the open, gleaning prey from foliage and emergent... read more


Apr–Nov in Venezuela and Colombia; Jun–Oct, once in Jan, in Trinidad. Nest, built by both sexes, a large oval or spherical ball... read more


Resident. Recorded, however, in NE Ecuador in Jan 2008 and in NE Peru in Dec 2009.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to locally common. May be slowly increasing its range in Panama and perhaps elsewhere. Occurs in Tinigua National Park... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Pied Water-tyrant (Fluvicola pica). 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 9 December 2019).