Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Slate-headed Tody-flycatcher (Poecilotriccus sylvia)


French: Todirostre de Desmarest German: Graukopf-Todityrann Spanish: Titirijí gris

Todus sylvia


, 1806,

locality unknown = probably French Guiana


Todirostrum hypospodium” is a synonym of superciliaris. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. schistaceiceps (P. L. Sclater, 1859) – S Mexico (from S Veracruz and N Oaxaca) S to Panama (E to Canal Zone).
  • P. s. superciliaris (Lawrence, 1871) – N & C Colombia (Caribbean coast, Magdalena and Cauca Valleys, in middle Dagua Valley on Pacific Andean slope, and S to W Meta on E slope).
  • P. s. griseolus (Todd, 1913) – N & C Venezuela and extreme E Colombia.
  • P. s. sylvia (Desmarest, 1806) – extreme N Brazil (along R Branco in NE Roraima), SW Guyana and French Guiana.
  • P. s. schulzi (Berlepsch, 1907) – NE Brazil (E Pará E to Piauí).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 9–10 cm; 6·7–8·5 g. Nominate race has grey crown and nape, white “spectacles” formed by white supraloral line and eyering, latter broken at front by grey lores... read more


    Call is a soft, low, gravelly “tic” or “trup”, sometimes repeated; a nasal descending “trrrr” trill... read more


    Dense thickets along forest edges and overgrown shrubby roadsides, and shrubby and vine-tangled... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly arthropods; fruit also taken. Recorded foods ants and small wasps (Hymenoptera), homopteran (e.g. leafhoppers) and heteropteran bugs... read more


    Nests found in Mar in Costa Rica and Jun in Venezuela; eggs in Apr–Jun and birds in breeding condition in Jan–Aug. Elongated... read more


    Probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common; perhaps often overlooked. Fairly common in Tocumen area of Panama. Occurs in many national parks and other protected... read more

    Recommended citation

    Walther, B. (2020). Slate-headed Tody-flycatcher (Poecilotriccus sylvia). 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 26 January 2020).