Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Straneck’s Tyrannulet (Serpophaga griseicapilla)


French: Tyranneau de Straneck German: Grauscheitel-Kleintyrann Spanish: Piojito de Straneck

Serpophaga griseicapilla


, 2008,

Misión Nueva Pompeya, Chaco, northern Argentina


Complicated taxonomy and nomenclature: present species cryptic, very similar in plumage to S. subcristata, but since mid-1990s known to differ markedly in vocalizations; form “griseiceps” described from WC Bolivia (Cochabamba) in 1959, but subsequently shown to refer to juveniles of S. subcristata munda; meanwhile, name “griseiceps” was erroneously associated with populations of present species, leading to much confusion#R, until present species formally described, with current name#R (description in issue of journal dated 2007, but in fact first published in May 2008). Monotypic.


NW Argentina (Salta to N Chubut); may breed also in S Bolivia (Tarija); non-breeding visitor to E Bolivia, Paraguay, S Brazil and Uruguay.

Descriptive notes

9–10·7 cm; 4·4–7·5 g. Head grey with darker eyestripe; may have a few black feathers with concealed white bases on crown, has a contrasting... read more


Throughout the year, makes a high-pitched but not far-carrying “twie tirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... read more


Breeds mainly in Monte Desert of NW Argentina; a summer record from Tarija (S Bolivia) was in Chaco... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods. Forages by moving carefully along branches of trees and xerophytic shrubs by means of little jumps and flutters. Feeds from c.... read more


Nest ready for eggs in Neuquén (Argentina) in first week of Nov, sited 1·2 m above ground, in matorral dominated by ... read more


Migratory. In non-breeding season moves E through NE & E Argentina (Misiones to Buenos Aires),... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Reported to be common, but precise details of distribution need to be established, both for breeding and non-breeding seasons.

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. (2019). Straneck’s Tyrannulet (Serpophaga griseicapilla). 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).