Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra)


French: Tyran plaintif German: Zimtschmucktyrann Spanish: Plañidera rojiza

Lipaugus holerythrus

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1860,

Choctum, Alta Vera Paz, Guatemala


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. h. holerythra (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1860) – Atlantic slope from S Mexico (N Oaxaca) S to Panama and N Colombia (E to Santander).
  • R. h. rosenbergi (E. J. O. Hartert, 1905) – Pacific lowlands of W Colombia (S from S Chocó) and NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas, rarely Pichincha).
  • Descriptive notes

    19·5–21 cm; 36–40 g. Entire plumage is essentially rufous; cinnamon-brown to russet above, crown darker rufous than back; remiges darker brown, broadly edged... read more


    Calls include a clear mournful whistle, “wheeeip, wheeeer”, and somewhat livelier “wheee-per,... read more


    Humid evergreen forest and mature secondary woodland, much less often at forest edge; mid-levels... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on large slow-moving insects such as katydids (Tettigoniidae), stick-insects (Phasmida) and caterpillars; also berries and arillate... read more


    Season Mar–Jun in Costa Rica and Feb–May in Colombia. Nests in tree cavity, usually old woodpecker (Picidae) hole, possibly... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common; perhaps overlooked. Apparently more common in N part of range. Probably locally extinct wherever deforestation has been... read more

    Recommended citation

    Scholes, E. (2019). Rufous Mourner (Rhytipterna holerythra). 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 13 December 2019).