Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Stub-tailed Spadebill (Platyrinchus cancrominus)


French: Platyrhynque à queue courte German: Kurzschwanz-Spatelschnabeltyrann Spanish: Picoplano rabón

Platyrhynchus cancrominus

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1860,

Choctum, Guatemala


Has been considered conspecific with P. mystaceus and P. albogularis, but present species and the latter behave as separate species in Costa Rica. Birds from Yucatán Peninsula sometimes separated as race timothei and those from El Salvador S to NW Costa Rica as dilutus, but poorly differentiated from other populations; additional work required. Monotypic.


SE Mexico (from S Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas and Yucatán Peninsula) S to Nicaragua and W Costa Rica; recently found also in NW Panama (Bocas del Toro Archipelago).

Descriptive notes

9–9·5 cm; 9·5–12 g. Male has bold facial pattern created by pale yellow supraloral patch, eyering, auricular patch below eye and arching postocular stripe,... read more


Dawn song a nasal, rapid, rolled trill alternated with sharp calls, “ki-di-di-di-rrril, ki-di-di-di... read more


Low to middle levels of shady understorey in humid evergreen forest, semi-deciduous forest, gallery... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes homopteran bugs, ants (Hymenoptera), beetles (Coleop­tera), spiders (Araneae); indirect evidence of fruit consumption in... read more


May in Costa Rica. Nest a cone-shaped thin-walled cup constructed from fine grasses, bark strips and bits of leaves, lined with black... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in Mexico and Bocas del Toro in Panama, uncommon and local in Costa Rica; fairly common in Panama, where it was found on all... read more

Recommended citation

Tello, J. (2020). Stub-tailed Spadebill (Platyrinchus cancrominus). 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 18 January 2020).