Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-headed Pygmy-tyrant (Pseudotriccus ruficeps)


French: Tyranneau à tête rousse German: Rotkopftyrann Spanish: Tiranuelo cabecirrojo

Musicapa [sic] ruficeps


, 1843,

“Bogota”, Colombia


Formerly placed in monotypic Caenotriccus. Birds of C Peru sometimes separated as race haplopteryx; those of S Peru may represent an undescribed race#R. Monotypic.


Colombia (locally in C & E Andes, also W slope in N & S) S to Ecuador (S to Cotopaxi) on W slope and to Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba) on E slope.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 7–9 g. Distinctive chestnut-headed pygmy-tyrant. Has entire head and throat bright orange-rufous; upperparts dark olive; wings dark dusky, all feathers broadly... read more


Loud, explosive buzzy trill lasting several seconds, “tzzzzzzzzzzzzeuw”, sometimes... read more


Humid montane forest, dense cloudforest, vine thickets, and forest borders; mainly 1850–3350... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages alone or in groups of 2–4 individuals, usually near ground in dense forest undergrowth, perching on both vertical... read more


Fledglings in Jun in Colombia and Jul–Mar in E Peru. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common; rare in Bolivia. Fairly common in Serranías Cofán (Sucumbíos), in Ecuador; occurs also in Tambito Nature Reserve, in Colombia,... read more

Recommended citation

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Rufous-headed Pygmy-tyrant (Pseudotriccus ruficeps). 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 14 December 2019).