Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-naped Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola rufivertex)


French: Dormilon à calotte rousse German: Rotscheitel-Grundtyrann Spanish: Dormilona nuquirroja

M[uscisaxicola]. rufivertex

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Cobija, Antofagasta, Chile


Hitherto treated as conspecific with M. occipitalis. Birds from Sierras de Córdoba (NC Argentina) sometimes separated as race achalensis, but appear largely indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. r. pallidiceps Hellmayr, 1927 – SW Peru (Arequipa S to Tacna), N Chile (Arica S to Antofagasta), SW Bolivia and NW Argentina (S to La Rioja).
  • M. r. rufivertex d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837 – mountains of Chile (Atacama S to Colchagua) and W Argentina (Sierra de Mendoza, W Córdoba and NE San Luis).
  • Descriptive notes

    15·5–18 cm; 18·7–21·9 g. The palest and purest grey ground-tyrant. Nominate race has faint white supercilium and broken eyering, bright... read more


    Call a high-pitched “tsit”; male during display utters thin, high-pitched “twee-... read more


    Grassland and grassy or ploughed pastures, often near rocky slopes and ravines, cliffs and edges,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Mainly terrestrial, making short runs and hops after prey, stopping suddenly and standing very erect; less frequently, sallies... read more


    Nests found in Nov–Jan in Argentina; eggs in Sept in C Chile; nestlings in Sept (Cuzco) and Dec (Puno) in S Peru. Displaying male... read more


    Not well known. Race pallidiceps is an altitudinal migrant, descending as low as 300 m in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally common. The most abundant ground-tyrant in SW Peru. Occurs in Eduardo Avaroa and Toro Toro National Parks, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A., Langham, G. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Rufous-naped Ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola rufivertex). 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 12 December 2019).