Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Rusty-backed Monjita (Xolmis rubetra)


French: Pépoaza traquet German: Rotrücken-Nonnentyrann Spanish: Monjita castaña

Taenioptera Rubetra


, 1860,

Sierra de Mendoza [type from pampa S of Mendoza, near San Carlos and Totoral], Argentina


See X. salinarum. In past, sometimes placed in Myiotheretes, or with X. salinarum in Neoxolmis; might have some affinities with Agriornis; further study needed. Monotypic.


C Argentina from Mendoza S to SW Buenos Aires and NE Santa Cruz; winters N to N Argentina (Tucumán to Entre Ríos); recorded in extreme S Brazil (SW Rio Grande do Sul)#R and Chile#R.

Descriptive notes

18–19 cm. Male has rufescent crown, prominent long white super­cilium, white head side with black streaks; back rufescent or rufous-brown, rump greyish-white; wings... read more


Little known; adults with fledglings give soft metallic “pik”.


Steppe and grassland with scattered low bushes (Larrea, Condalia, Chuquiraga... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Often in pairs or small groups up to five individuals when breeding; flocks of up to 20 or 30 reported in austral winter. Often... read more


Little known. Sept–Mar; fledglings in Dec in Chubut. During display male flies up and descends, with wings making metallic rattle.... read more


Resident in N. S populations migratory, spending winter (Apr–Aug) in N Argentina (N to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Uncommon at Valdés Peninsula, in Chubut. Habitat has been severely altered by overgrazing and deforestation, and... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Langham, G. (2019). Rusty-backed Monjita (Xolmis rubetra). 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).