Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Sooty-crowned Flycatcher (Myiarchus phaeocephalus)


French: Tyran à front gris German: Rußkappen-Schopftyrann Spanish: Copetón tiznado

Myiarchus phæocephalus

P. L. Sclater

, 1860,

Babahoyo, Ecuador


Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA#R found one typical individual of race interior more closely related to clade formed by M. venezuelensis, M. panamensis and M. ferox than to two nominate individuals of present species; further study needed. Races weakly differentiated. Proposed form “M. toddi” (N Peru) refers to an aberrant individual of present species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. phaeocephalus P. L. Sclater, 1860 – W Ecuador (S from NW Esmeraldas and W Pichincha) and NW Peru (S to Lambayeque).
  • M. p. interior J. T. Zimmer, 1938 – extreme SE Ecuador (near Zumba, in S Zamora-Chinchipe) and N Peru (upper R Marañón drainage in NE Cajamarca and NW Amazonas).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; 24–29·5 g. The only Myiarchus with combination of blue-grey crown, greyish nuchal collar and olive-green back. Forehead and forecrown are light... read more


    Repeated hiccups, rasping whistles and high-pitched whistles in response to intruding conspecifics... read more


    Deciduous woodland, arid scrub, sometimes edge of mangroves in lowlands and foothills; tropical... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Sallies from tree perches.


    Breeds Feb–Apr; copulation observed Jan–Mar. Nest in cavity lined with fur, snakeskin and clear plastic, typical of genus. Mean... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tumbesian Region EBA and Marañón Valley EBA. Uncommon to fairly common. Common in Chongon Hills, and also occurs... read more

    Recommended citation

    Joseph, L. (2019). Sooty-crowned Flycatcher (Myiarchus phaeocephalus). 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 6 December 2019).