Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Sooty-headed Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias griseiceps)


French: Tyranneau nain German: Rußkappen-Kleintyrann Spanish: Mosquerito cabecigrís

Tyranniscus griseiceps

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1871,

Pallatanga, Chimborazo and Babahoyo, Los Ríos, Ecuador


Proposed races cristatus (Panama, N Colombia, N Venezuela), caucae (middle and upper Cauca Valley, in Colombia) and pallidiceps (SE Venezuela, S Guyana, N Amazonian Brazil, E Peru), described on basis of differences in length and colour of crown feathers and in wing length; variation in these characters at least as great among individuals from same regions as it is across huge geographical areas. Monotypic.


Locally in E Panama, N, WC & SW Colombia, N & E Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname#R, French Guiana#R, W & E Ecuador, E Peru (S to Ayacucho and N Cuzco#R), and N Brazil (left bank of lower R Amazon).

Descriptive notes

10 cm; 8 g. A tiny, dull tyrannulet often showing slightly bushy crest. Plumage is dull greyish-olive above, darker greyish to blackish on crown, crown feathers of many... read more


Song, often from exposed perch, an emphatic phrase of clear, short whistled notes, first one... read more


Humid tropical and upper tropical evergreen forest regions, occurring mainly in forest borders,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects; also small fruits and berries. Forages in middle and upper canopy, usually alone except when visiting fruiting trees; occasionally... read more


Nest found in Feb in NW Ecuador, a small cup covered with lichen, in crotch of small branch 13 m above ground. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare to locally common, but probably often overlooked. Numerous in Tayrona National Park, in Colombia, and Río Palenque Science Centre and Tinalandia... read more

Recommended citation

Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Sooty-headed Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias griseiceps). 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).