Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Short-tailed Field-tyrant (Muscigralla brevicauda)


French: Moucherolle à queue courte German: Stummelschwanztyrann Spanish: Dormilona colicorta

M[uscigralla]. brevicauda

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Tacna, Peru




SW Ecuador (I de la Plata, off Manabí, and Guayas S to Loja), N & W Peru (Amazonas, and down coast to Tacna) and N Chile (Arica); two records from SW Colombia#R.

Descriptive notes

11–11·5 cm. Plumage is brownish-grey above, short supraloral stripe white, semi-concealed yellow coronal patch; upper rump buffy, lower rump and uppertail-... read more


Song, usually from mound or low perch, occasionally during aerial display, a weak, sibilant “... read more


Arid coastal lowlands and arid intermontane valleys, preferring open, barren or sandy areas and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Almost exclusively terrestrial; pursues insects on the ground by alternately running and pausing briefly, making short, rapid... read more


Feb–Jun in Ecuador. Song occasionally given during aerial display up to 20 m high. Nest cup-shaped, composed of uniform, dry, greyish... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common. Largest numbers along coast, especially numerous on Santa Elena Peninsula (Ecuador) and arid coastal zone of S... read more

Recommended citation

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Short-tailed Field-tyrant (Muscigralla brevicauda). 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 10 December 2019).