Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus)


French: Ada clignot German: Brillendunkeltyrann Spanish: Viudita picoplata

Motacilla perspicillata

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Montevideo, Uruguay


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. p. perspicillatus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – extreme SE Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) and Uruguay S in lowlands to CS Argentina (Río Negro); winters in Paraguay, C Bolivia and S Brazil.
  • H. p. andinus (Ridgway, 1879) – C Chile (Atacama S to Los Lagos; sparsely farther S in W Andes) and S Argentina (W Río Negro, Chubut, N Santa Cruz); winters in N Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–16 cm. Distinctive, with prominent greenish-tinged yellow fleshy wattle around eye. Male is black overall; primaries mostly white with black base and tips (visible... read more


    Usually silent. Male utters a series of thin, squeaky notes; during display, male utters “zheeeee... read more


    Marshes, grassy or shrubby areas, rivers, open lands, and fields and pastures near water; sea-level... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. In a study in the SE Pampas region food items brought to nestlings were basically insects (94%), but also spiders (Araneidae,... read more


    Oct–Jan in Argentina and Nov–Jan in Chile. During spectacular display, male rises up to 10 m above perch, making loud bill-snap... read more


    Partial migrant; some populations in S Paraguay apparently resident. After breeding, nominate race... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common. Abundant near coastal marshes in S Buenos Aires (Argentina) in Apr. Fairly common in Los Glaciares National... read more

    Recommended citation

    Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillatus). 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 7 December 2019).